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Central APA

Those who are interested and happen to be in Chi-town at the end of February can see me present my paper "A Problem with Thinning" at this year's Central APA (Thursday February 27, 4:20--5:20, during a joyful session on Conditionals and Epistemic Modality). Here is the abstract of the talk:

I discuss a problem for the classical variably strict analysis of indicative conditionals. The problem is based on the observation, highlighted by Sobel sequences, that indicative conditionals resist thinning: a contingent indicative conditional does not retain its truth-value if one strengthens its antecedent with an arbitrary bit of information. I argue that, given minimal assumptions about the semantics and pragmatics of indicative conditionals, a variably strict analysis of indicative conditionals is empirically inadequate: it fails to account for the observation that indicative Sobel sequences are not only consistent but also assertible. The paper thus exploits data about thinning to argue against a prominent analysis of conditionals, but unlike previous discussions does not appeal to considerations about order-sensitivity to derive the problem.

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