A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals (Paperback)Jonathan Bennett
Paperback Published: 03/04/2003
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Conditional sentences are among the most intriguing and puzzling features of language: analysis of their meaning and function has important implications for, and uses in, many areas of philosophy. Jonathan Bennett, one of the world's leading experts, distils many years' work and teaching into this Philosophical Guide to Conditionals, the fullest and most authoritative treatment of the subject. The literature on conditionals is difficult - needlessly so. Bennett's treatment is meticulously careful and luminously clear. He presents and evaluates in detail various approaches to the understanding of 'indicative' conditionals (like 'If Shakespeare didn't write Hamlet, some aristocrat did') and 'subjunctive' conditionals (like 'If rabbits had not been deliberately introduced into New Zealand, there would be none there today'); and he offers his own view, which will be recognized as a major original contribution to the subject. Journeying through this intellectual territory brings one into contact with the metaphysics of possible worlds, probability and belief-change, probability and logic, the pragmatics of conversation, determinism, ambiguity, vagueness, the law of excluded middle, facts versus events, and more. One might perhaps learn more philosophy from a thorough study of conditionals than from any other kind of work. Bennett's Guide is an ideal introduction for undergraduates with a philosophical grounding, and will also be a rich source of illumination and stimulation for graduate students and professional philosophers.
Publisher: Oxford University Press