, 30:17 | Cite as

If-Clauses and Probability Operators

  • Paul ÉgréEmail author
  • Mikaël Cozic


Adams’ thesis is generally agreed to be linguistically compelling for simple conditionals with factual antecedent and consequent. We propose a derivation of Adams’ thesis from the Lewis-Kratzer analysis of if-clauses as domain restrictors, applied to probability operators. We argue that Lewis’s triviality result may be seen as a result of inexpressibility of the kind familiar in generalized quantifier theory. Some implications of the Lewis-Kratzer analysis are presented concerning the assignment of probabilities to compounds of conditionals.


Indicative conditionals If-clauses Probability Triviality Quantifier restriction Adams’ thesis Lewis-Kratzer analysis 



Special thanks to D. Rothschild, B. Spector, D. Bonnay, R. Bradley, H. Leitgeb for helpful discussion, and to P. Schlenker, G. Politzer and S. Kaufmann for their detailed comments and valuable criticisms. We also thank audiences in Amsterdam, Bristol, Paris, Geneva and Göttingen, and particularly O. Roy, S. Duca, P. Keller and M. Schwager for their invitations, as well as participants at ESSLLI 2008 in Hamburg, where we taught a course on conditionals. We gratefully acknowledge the ANR-DFG project “Hypothetical Reasoning” for support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Jean-Nicod (CNRS-ENS-EHESS), Département d’Etudes Cognitives de l’ENSParisFrance
  2. 2.Université Paris-Est Créteil, IHPST and Département d’Etudes Cognitives de l’ENSParisFrance

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