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Rescher, Nicholas

Conditionals

  • Editorial: The MIT Press
  • Páginas: 246
  • Año: 2007
  • Precio: 35.55 €
  • EAN: 9780262182591

This book by distinguished philosopher Nicholas Rescher seeks to clarify the idea of what a conditional says by elucidating the information that is normally transmitted by its utterance. The result is a unified treatment of conditionals based on epistemological principles rather than the semantical principles in vogue over recent decades. This approach, argues Rescher, makes it easier to understand how conditionals actually function in our thought and discourse. In its concern with what language theorists call pragmatics--the study of the norms and principles governing our use of language in conveying information--Conditionals steps beyond the limits of logic as traditionally understood and moves into the realm claimed by theorists of artificial intelligence as they try to simulate our actual information-processing practices. The book´s treatment of counterfactuals essentially revives an epistemological approach proposed by F. P. Ramsey in the 1920s and developed by Rescher himself in the 1960s but since overshadowed by the now-dominant possible-worlds approach. Rescher argues that the increasingly evident liabilities of the possible-worlds strategy make a reappraisal of the older style of analysis both timely and desirable. As the book makes clear, an epistemological approach demonstrates that counterfactual reasoning, unlike inductive inference, is not a matter of abstract reasoning alone but one of good judgment and common sense.
Preface Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (20 KB) xi 1 Fundamentals Download Chapter as PDF Sample Chapter - Download PDF (77 KB) 1 2 Matters of Aspect 15 3 Modes of Implication 31 4 Conditional Complications 51 5 Doxastic Implication and Plausibility 59 6 Inferentially Insuperable Boundaries and Homogeneous Conditionals 67 7 Counterfactual Conditionals and Their Problematic Nature 73 8 Salience and Questioner´s Prerogative 89 9 On Validating Counterfactuals 103 10 Further Complications of Counterfactuality 139 11 Some Logical Features of Counterfactuals 149 12 Variant Analyses of Counterfactuals 161 13 Historical Counterfactuals 177 14 Per impossibile Counterfactuals and Reductio ad absurdum Conditionals 185 15 Problems with Possible Worlds 195 Conclusion 217 Notes 221 References 231 Name Index

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