Between "If" and "Then.": towards an empirically informed philosophy of conditionals

Karolina Krzyzanowska

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    1433 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Is it true that your best friend will be upset, if you forget about her birthday? And what do I learn when someone tells me that they must have lost that key, if it is not in their pocket? Sentences of the form “if p, q,” known as indicative conditionals, although clearly prevalent in everyday conversations and scientific discourse alike, belong to the most baffling phenomena of natural language. Due to their essential role in reasoning and decision-making, conditionals have been an object of growing interest among philosophers, linguists and psychologists, yet their meaning and the processes involved in their production and comprehension are far from being completely understood.

    This thesis is concerned with the question of whether and when indicative conditionals can be true. We develop a theory of meaning of conditional sentences in natural language by combining philosophical investigations with insights from linguistics and psychology of reasoning, aided by empirical results on how people use different kinds of conditionals in different contexts.
    Translated title of the contributionTussen “als” en “dan.”: Een empirisch geïnformeerde filosofie van conditionele zinnen
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Douven, Igor, Supervisor
    • Rott, H. (Hans), Assessment committee, External person
    • Over, D.E., Assessment committee, External person
    • Verbrugge, Rineke, Assessment committee
    Award date2-Feb-2015
    Place of Publication[S.l.]
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-7514-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7515-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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