Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter uses four historically important approaches to conditionals to help illustrate ways of thinking about the language of subjective uncertainty more broadly construed. On the first, conditionals express propositions and `if' is a truth-functional connective. Problems here motivate the second hypothesis-that a conditional expresses a proposition the probability of which equals the probability of the consequent conditional on its antecedent. Problems for this approach in turn motivate a third kind of view on which conditionals do not express propositions that are true or false. According to one such approach, `if' has a non-compositional meaning: it is used to help express conditional beliefs in a special, non-semantic way. The costs of abandoning compositionality motivate the final family of views considered, on which compositional semantic interpretation functions output non-propositional objects; therefore semanticists can and should help themselves to tools developed by formal epistemologists.

Keywords: conditional, language, probability, proposition, semantics, uncertainty

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.