Journal of Philosophical Logic

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 449–460 | Cite as

Embedding If and Only If

  • Adam Sennet
  • Jonathan Weisberg
Open Access


Some left-nested indicative conditionals are hard to interpret while others seem fine. Some proponents of the view that indicative conditionals have No Truth Values (NTV) use their view to explain why some left-nestings are hard to interpret: the embedded conditional does not express the truth conditions needed by the embedding conditional. Left-nestings that seem fine are then explained away as cases of ad hoc, pragmatic interpretation. We challenge this explanation. The standard reasons for NTV about indicative conditionals (triviality results, Gibbardian standoffs, etc.) extend naturally to NTV about biconditionals. So NTVers about conditionals should also be NTVers about biconditionals. But biconditionals embed much more freely than conditionals. If NTV explains why some left-nested conditionals are hard to interpret, why do biconditionals embed successfully in the very contexts where conditionals do not embed?


Conditionals Triviality results 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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