Vagueness, conditionals and probability

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

Robert Williams
University of Leeds
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 ).
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Ontology   Ethics   Logic
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-008-9145-7
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References found in this work BETA

Vagueness.Timothy Williamson - 1994 - Routledge.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.

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

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