Indicative conditionals:Factual or Epistemic?
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- Cantwell, J. Stud Logica (2008) 88: 157. doi:10.1007/s11225-008-9096-7
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It is argued that indicative conditionals are best viewed as having truth conditions (and so they are in part factual) but that these truth conditions are ‘gappy’ which leaves an explanatory gap that can only be filled by epistemic considerations (and so indicative conditionals are in part epistemic). This dual nature of indicative conditionals gives reason to rethink the relationship between logic viewed as a descriptive discipline (focusing on semantics) and logic viewed as a discipline with a normative import (focusing on epistemic notions such as ‘reasoning’, ‘beliefs’ and ‘assumptions’). In particular, it is argued that the development of formal models for epistemic states can serve as a starting point for exploring logic when viewed as a normative discipline.