Famous results by David Lewis show that plausible-sounding constraints on the probabilities of conditionals or evaluative claims lead to unacceptable results, by standard probabilistic reasoning. Existing presentations of these results rely on stronger assumptions than they really need. When we strip these arguments down to a minimal core, we can see both how certain replies miss the mark, and also how to devise parallel arguments for other domains, including epistemic “might,” probability claims, claims about comparative value, and so on. A popular reply to Lewis's results is to claim that conditional claims, or claims about subjective value, lack truth conditions. For this strategy to have a chance of success, it needs to give up basic structural principles about how epistemic states can be updated—in a way that is strikingly parallel to the commitments of the project of dynamic semantics.
Research Article|July 01 2016
General Dynamic Triviality Theorems
The Philosophical Review (2016) 125 (3): 307-339.
Jeffrey Sanford Russell, John Hawthorne; General Dynamic Triviality Theorems. The Philosophical Review 1 July 2016; 125 (3): 307–339. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-3516936
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