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AN EXPRESSIVIST ANALYSIS OF THE INDICATIVE CONDITIONAL WITH A RESTRICTOR SEMANTICS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2020

JOHN CANTWELL*
Affiliation:
DIVISION OF PHILOSOPHY ROYAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (KTH) TEKNIKRINGEN 76 100 44STOCKHOLM, SWEDENE-mail: john.cantwell@abe.kth.se

Abstract

A globally expressivist analysis of the indicative conditional based on the Ramsey Test is presented. The analysis is a form of ‘global’ expressivism in that it supplies acceptance and rejection conditions for all the sentence forming connectives of propositional logic (negation, disjunction, etc.) and so allows the conditional to embed in arbitrarily complex sentences (thus avoiding the Frege–Geach problem). The expressivist framework is semantically characterized in a restrictor semantics due to Vann McGee, and is completely axiomatized in a logic dubbed ICL (‘Indicative Conditional Logic’). The expressivist framework extends the AGM (after Alchourron, Gärdenfors, Makinson) framework for belief revision and so provides a categorical (‘yes’–‘no’) epistemology for conditionals that complements McGee’s probabilistic framework while drawing on the same semantics. The result is an account of the semantics and acceptability conditions of the indicative conditional that fits well with the linguistic data (as pooled by linguists and from psychological experiments) while integrating both expressivist and semanticist perspectives.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Association for Symbolic Logic, 2020

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