The relationship of parent to child is, like the relationship of a five-dimensional descendant to its primitive ancestor, one of shepherding and benevolent deception. Some truths (such as the fact that it will be almost a century until you meet your father again, or the solution to quantum gravity equations) are so difficult to comprehendContinue reading “Interstellar (2014)”
My theory so far comprises three commitments: A conditional “if A, B” encodes the disposition to infer its consequent from its antecedent, together with how things would be if its antecedent were true. Whether you believe or leave open the possibility of a conditional depends on whether you are inferentially disposed in accordance with theContinue reading “Resolving the Bounding Puzzles”
In the previous two posts, I articulated two bounding puzzles that reveal a tension between the informational content and logical strength of conditionals. In this post, I want to articulate and motivate my positive theory of conditionals. I will come back to show how it handles the bounding puzzles in the next post. If youContinue reading “On Inferences and Conditionals”
In the previous post, I discussed a puzzle about the meaning of indicative conditionals, and I mentioned that a similar puzzle arises for subjunctive conditionals. But what do these terms “indicative” and “subjunctive” mean? The terms refer to a grammatical distinction, which we can informally describe this way: the indicatives are the simple-looking conditionals, whileContinue reading “Subjunctive Bounding”
This marks the first of a series of posts on my book, currently under contract with OUP, on the meaning of conditional sentences (like, “If Sue caught her flight, she arrived at noon”). My hope in this series is to explain, without jargon or technical machinery, what the book is about, my view, and someContinue reading “The Meaning of “If”: Indicative Bounding”
In a recent op-ed, “Should we cancel Aristotle?”, Agnes Callard suggests that “we philosophers,” and by extension, I presume, all members of civil society, “must countenance the possibility of radical disagreement.” But, she observes, what if your intellectual opponent espouses views you regard as not only wrong, but morally and intellectually repugnant? Callard distinguishes literalContinue reading “On cancelling and sincerity”
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