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Conditionals, Insignificant Relevance, and Inferentialism

Pfister, Rolf (2023) Conditionals, Insignificant Relevance, and Inferentialism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Although there are a large number of approaches to conditionals, no consensus has yet been reached on the nature and the evaluation of conditionals. Among the more popular approaches are the suppositional account and a wider variety of relevance approaches. The latter require a relevance connection between the antecedent and the consequent to consider a conditional acceptable. In this article, the suppositional account and different approaches of relevance conditionals are analysed on a specific type of conditional: Conditionals whose antecedent and consequent have a relevance connection, but where the acceptability of the antecedent has no significance on the acceptability of the consequent. Such conditionals occur in cases of multiple implication of a consequent, as in overdetermination. When evaluating such conditionals, the approaches examined lead to different and partly incoherent results. It is argued that conditional approaches should consider such conditionals acceptable, which is a challenge for e.g. approaches based on statistical measures. Furthermore, it is argued that the probability of a conditional should only be evaluated according to the strength of the relevance connection between the antecedent and the consequent, but not according to other relevance connections. It is shown that only two approaches correctly evaluate such conditionals, one of which, inferentialism, may provide a basis for a coherent theory of conditionals.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pfister, Rolfrolf.pfister@posteo.de0000-0002-0573-8544
Keywords: conditional, relevance conditional, multiple implication, inferentialism, suppositional account
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Mr. Rolf Pfister
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2023 12:45
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2023 12:45
Item ID: 22441
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 21 August 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22441

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