Chapter

Conditionals and Indeterminacy

Stephen Schiffer

in The Things We Mean

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257768
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602313 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257760.003.0008
 Conditionals and Indeterminacy

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The account of indeterminacy is brought to bear on conditionals, both indicative conditionals and counterfactual conditionals. The existence of conditional propositions is easily secured on the theory of pleonastic propositions, and conditions are specified under which a conditional proposition is determinately true, determinately false, or indeterminate. These truth conditions generate a puzzle, in that the way we form partial beliefs in indeterminate conditional propositions is not what their truth conditions predict. The resolution makes an important concession to non-cognitivist accounts of indicative-conditional sentences.

Keywords: conditional proposition; counterfactual conditional; indeterminacy; indicative conditional; non-cognitivist theory of indicative conditionals; pleonastic proposition; truth conditions

Chapter.  13364 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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