Chapter

Indicative Conditionals

Robert C. Stalnaker

in Context and Content

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198237075
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598456 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198237073.003.0004

Series: Oxford Cognitive Science Series

Indicative Conditionals

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Aims to reconcile a unified semantic account of conditional statements with an apparent contrast between the logics of indicative and ”subjunctive” conditionals. The difference between the two kinds of conditionals is explained in terms of different constraints imposed on the contexts relative to which the different forms of conditionals are interpreted. A pragmatic concept of reasonable inference is defined and contrasted with semantic entailment. This concept is then used to explain why certain inferences involving indicative conditionals are compelling, and to diagnose a fallacy in a familiar argument for fatalism.

Keywords: conditional; conditional statement; context; entailment; fatalism; indicative conditional; reasonable inference

Chapter.  7250 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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