Conditional heresies

Journal article

Cariani, Fabrizio and Goldstein, Simon. (2020). Conditional heresies. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 101(2), pp. 251-282.
AuthorsCariani, Fabrizio and Goldstein, Simon

The principles of Conditional Excluded Middle (CEM) and Simplification of Disjunctive Antecedents (SDA) have received substantial attention in isolation. Both principles are plausible generalizations about natural language conditionals. There is however little discussion of their interaction. This paper aims to remedy this gap and explore the significance of having both principles constrain the logic of the conditional. Our negative finding is that, together with elementary logical assumptions, CEM and SDA yield a variety of implausible consequences. Despite these incompatibility results, we open up a narrow space to satisfy both. We show that, by simultaneously appealing to the alternative‐introducing analysis of disjunction and to the theory of homogeneity presuppositions, we can satisfy both. Furthermore, the theory that validates both principles resembles a recent semantics that is defended by Santorio on independent grounds. The cost of this approach is that it must give up the transitivity of entailment: we suggest that this is a feature, not a bug, and connect it with recent developments of intransitive notions of entailment.

JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Journal citation101 (2), pp. 251-282
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85058935157
Open accessPublished as green open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range251-282
Author's accepted manuscript
All rights reserved
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Publisher's version
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Dec 2018
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