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Against Hypothetical Syllogism

Against Hypothetical Syllogism
Against Hypothetical Syllogism
The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof relies upon the semantic claim that conditionals with antecedents irrelevant to the obtaining of the consequent are true. Moreover, this semantic insight allows us to provide compelling counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism that are resistant to the usual contextualist response.
0022-3611
979-997
Walters, Lee
6588848d-16fa-41f1-a94b-c339c3428c13
Walters, Lee
6588848d-16fa-41f1-a94b-c339c3428c13

Walters, Lee (2014) Against Hypothetical Syllogism. Journal of Philosophical Logic, 43, 979-997. (doi:10.1007/s10992-013-9305-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof relies upon the semantic claim that conditionals with antecedents irrelevant to the obtaining of the consequent are true. Moreover, this semantic insight allows us to provide compelling counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism that are resistant to the usual contextualist response.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 September 2013
e-pub ahead of print date: 15 October 2013
Published date: 2014
Organisations: Philosophy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 355694
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355694
ISSN: 0022-3611
PURE UUID: 288a1d25-9051-42fe-a8f0-31d19dedb9ea

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Sep 2013 08:50
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:26

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