By Erasmus Desiderius
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Extra resources for A Very Pleasaunt and Fruitful Diolog Called the Epicure
When we consider (P→Q) at world i, we are to look for the closest Pworld which shares with i what is being taken to be common knowledge in the context of assertion and ask whether it is a Q-world. But see the counterexamples below. Added note: I argue against the general programme of analysing indicative conditional in the possible worlds way in ‘Conditionals and Possibilia’, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 81 (1980/81):126-37. , Cohen’s report of Grice’s views in ‘Some Remarks on Grice’s Views about the Logical Particles of Natural Language’.
It is, of course, important to separate the question of the assertability for X of ‘If Pete calls, he will win’ from the assertability for X of ‘If Pete calls and…, Pete will win’. ‘If A then B’ can be very highly assertable when ‘If A and C, then B’ is not—a point prominent in discussions of strengthening the antecedent. And it does seem to me that when Dudman seeks to make appealing his view that X could properly assert ‘If Pete calls, he will win’ but also properly refrain from doing so (he all but grants that (a normal) Y has to assert that if Pete calls, he will lose), he is in danger of conflating these two separate questions.
I have just highlighted as central the fact that for informant X who knows that Pete is cheating but has no opinion about whose hand is the stronger, the right thing to say in the indicative is ‘If Pete called, he won’, but that X has a choice about asserting ‘If Pete had called, he would have won’. htm to assert depends on how an ambiguity is resolved. Likewise, for informant Y who knows that Pete’s hand is weaker but has no opinion about whether or not Pete knows what is in his opponent’s hand, the right thing to say indicatively is that if Pete called, he lost.