A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals by Jonathan Bennett

By Jonathan Bennett

Conditional sentences are one of the so much fascinating and complicated good points of language, and research in their that means and serve as has very important implications for, and makes use of in, many components of philosophy. Jonathan Bennett, one of many world's best specialists, distils decades' paintings and instructing into this Philosophical advisor to Conditionals, the fullest and so much authoritative remedy of the topic. an awesome creation for undergraduates with a philosophical grounding, it additionally bargains a wealthy resource of illumination and stimulation for graduate scholars philosophers.

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Sample text

In this case, then, Grice and Ramsey pass the same judgement. But they do not coincide across the board, and the discrepancies all suggest that Grice's theory of conversational implicature, though shiningly true, cannot defend the horseshoe analysis against apparent counterexamples. Perhaps the earliest solid attack on this project was that of Brian Ellis (1978: 114-19); it was followed up by Frank Jackson (1979: 112-19), Brian Skyrms (1980: 83-7), and Dorothy Edgington (1986: 181-3). I shall be guided by Jackson's attack, presenting five of its highlights in my own words.

That will be warmly endorsed by those who reject the horseshoe analysis, but Jackson accepts that analysis: according to him, someone who asserts A→ C asserts only A C, so that if the latter is true he has spoken truly. But, he adds, the speaker also conveys to his hearers something further that he does not assert but merely implicates—suggests or signals or implies. Grice said that much; but the two disagree about the source of this further implicature or suggestion. Grice traces it to the hearers' expecting the speaker to abide by certain general rules; Jackson traces it to the conventional meaning of the indicative 'if' in particular.

In five ways, then, Jackson's general account of conventional implicature misfits his application of that concept to indicative conditionals. The last two failures may not matter much; but the first three—Jackson's own and my 1 and 2—are structural, serious, and in my view fatal. A sixth will be presented in §39. 17. The Unity Point At one place Jackson hedges his claims for his account of conventional implicature. ', he writes: 'Perhaps it is wrong to expect the answer to be the same for each example, but, in many cases at least, it seems that the reason .

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