Four Approaches to Supposition
Ted Shear (University of Queensland)

October 18, 2019, 7:00am - 9:00am
Logic Group, The University of Melbourne

Old Arts
Parkville 3010


University of Melbourne

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Ted Shear (UQ) will present "Four Approaches to Supposition" in Old Arts 224 at 11 on 18 October. 

Abstract: Legend has it there are two basic modes of supposition. Under an indicative supposition, we assess the acceptability of propositions relative to how we would expect things to be if we were to learn that the supposition is true. By contrast, under subjunctive suppositions, we assess acceptability using our counterfactual judgments about how things would be if the supposition were suddenly made true through some “local miracle” or sudden intervention. But, there are also two different varieties of judgments that we may make under either type of supposition. These judgments may be coarse-grained qualitative judgments about whether a proposition is acceptable or not. Or, they may be fine-grained quantitative ones about the degree to which they are acceptable. In sum, this leaves us with four disparate theories of suppositional judgment: (1) qualitative-indicative theories, (2) quantitative-indicative theories, (3) qualitative-subjunctive theories, and (4) quantitative-subjunctive theories. In this talk, we apply formal apparatus from belief revision theory to systematically catalogue the relationships between canonical examples of each of the four types of theories mentioned above. This is joint work with Benjamin Eva and Branden Fitelson.

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