Vagueness, conditionals and probability

Erkenntnis 70 (2):151 - 171 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper explores the interaction of well-motivated (if controversial) principles governing the probability conditionals, with accounts of what it is for a sentence to be indefinite. The conclusion can be played in a variety of ways. It could be regarded as a new reason to be suspicious of the intuitive data about the probability of conditionals; or, holding fixed the data, it could be used to give traction on the philosophical analysis of a contentious notion—indefiniteness. The paper outlines the various options, and shows that ‘rejectionist’ theories of indefiniteness are incompatible with the results. Rejectionist theories include popular accounts such as supervaluationism, non-classical truth-value gap theories, and accounts of indeterminacy that centre on rejecting the law of excluded middle. An appendix compares the results obtained here with the ‘impossibility’ results descending from Lewis ( 1976 ).


Added to PP

328 (#49,061)

6 months
58 (#53,279)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Robert Williams
University of Leeds

Citations of this work

Counterfactual Triviality: A Lewis-Impossibility Argument for Counterfactuals.Robert Williams - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.
Counterfactual Triviality: A Lewis‐Impossibility Argument for Counterfactuals.J. Robert & G. Williams - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - New York: Routledge.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
Time and chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

View all 42 references / Add more references