Real Conditionals (Paperback)
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Short Description for Real Conditionals Offers a fresh approach to the long-running debate among philosophers and logicians about the best way to analyse and understand conditional sentences. The author attends not just to the semantics of such sentences, but equally to their syntax, making use of insights from linguistic theory.
- Published: 09 February 2006
- Format: Paperback 236 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780199285518 ISBN 10: 0199285519
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Full description for Real Conditionals
Philosophers and logicians have long debated how best to understand conditional or hypothetical sentences. William G. Lycan has a distinctive approach to this debate, attending not just to the semantics of such sentences, but equally to their syntax. He shows how insights from linguistic theory help to illuminate problems about the meaning and function of conditionals. For instance, philosophers and logicians have had problems analysing the locutions 'only if', 'unless', and 'even if'. Lycan sets out a general semantic theory of conditionals which works for all such sentences; he assigns meanings to them in a way that explains how and why those meanings depend upon features of utterance context. According to Lycan's theory the 'if'-clauses refer to items called 'events', 'circumstances', or 'conditions'. "Real Conditionals" gives at last the definitive presentation of this original approach to a topic at the intersection of philosophy, logic, and linguistics. Lycan's characteristically lively and witty expository style ensures that it can be enjoyed by readers from all three disciplines.