A unified shared theory of conditionals does not still exist. Some theories seem suitable only for indicative but not for counterfactual ones (or vice versa), while others work well with simple conditionals but not compound ones. Ernest Adams’ approach—one of the most successful theories as far as indicative conditional are concerned—is based on a reformulation of Ramsey’s Test in a probabilistic thesis known as “The Equation”. While the so-called Lewis’ Triviality Results support Adams’ view that conditionals do not express genuine statements, the problem arises whether these results lead inevitably to Adams’ view—according to which conditionals always lack truth-values—or to the less radical view by Dorothy Edgington—according to whom simple (indicative) conditionals have well-defined truth-values only when they are used to make assertions and their antecedent is true.
I will suggest that Alberto Mura’s account—a refinement of de Finetti’s theory of tri-events that fits Adams’ logic and extends it over the lattice of compound conditionals—can be a suitable candidate for a proper semantics of indicative conditionals and might be an interesting step towards a unified theory for conditional sentences.
Conditional statements have been the subject of several discussions since ancient age. Indeed, linguistic constructions like “If p, (then) q” have always interested many philosophers and logicians because of their central role in common reasoning: every day we think and act under conditional statements. Unfortunately, the use of these sentences in theoretical and practical reasoning is…
Click here to download full article