Modus Ponens Under the Restrictor View
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There is a renewed debate about modus ponens. Strikingly, the recent counterexamples in Cantwell (Theoria, 74, 331–351 2008), Dreier (2009) and MacFarlane and Kolodny (The Journal of Philosophy, 107, 115–143 2010) are generated by restricted readings of the ‘if’-clause. Moreover, it can be argued on general grounds that the restrictor view of conditionals developed in Kratzer (1986) and Lewis (1975) leads to counterexamples to modus ponens (cp. Charlow Synthese, 190, 2291–2323 2013; Khoo Philosophical Studies, 166, 153–64 2013). This paper provides a careful analysis of modus ponens within the framework of the restrictor view. Despite appearances to the contrary, there is a robust sense in which modus ponens is valid, owing to the fact that conditionals do not only allow for restricted readings but have bare interpretations, too.
KeywordsConditionals Modus ponens Restrictor view
An earlier version of this paper has been presented at a research seminar in Barcelona 2012, at the MCMP-colloquium in 2013 and at a research colloquium in Milan 2014. I would like to thank all the participants for their helpful comments. Special thanks are due to Thomas Krödel, Sven Rosenkranz, Giuliano Torrengo, Richard Woodward and an anonymous referee of this journal. The paper profited from the generous support of the DFG-funded project “Knowledge and Decision” (SCHU 3080/3-1).
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