Philosophical Studies

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 293–305 | Cite as

Towards a semantics for biscuit conditionals



This essay proposes a semantic analysis of biscuit-conditionals, such as Austin’s classic example “there are biscuits in the cupboard if you want some”. The analysis is grounded on the ideas of contextual restrictions, and of non-character encoded aspects of meaning, and provides a rigorous framework for the widespread intuitions that (i) the if-clause in a biscuit-conditional is truth-conditionally idle, but (ii) it ‘qualifies’ the speech-act in question. In the concluding section of this essay, the analysis is also applied to the importantly similar phenomenon of speech-act adverbs.


Biscuit conditionals Semantics Indexicals 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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