Defending a Possible-Worlds Account of Indicative Conditionals

Daniel Patrick Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


One very popular kind of semantics for subjunctive conditionals is a closest-worlds account along the lines of theories given by David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker. If we could give the same sort of semantics for indicative conditionals, we would have a more unified account of the meaning of "if... then..." statements, one with many advantages for explaining the behaviour of conditional sentences. Such a treatment of indicative conditionals, however, has faced a battery of objections. This paper outlines a closest-worlds account of indicative conditionals that does better than some of its cousins in explaining the behaviour of such conditionals. The paper then discusses objections offered by Dorothy Edgington and Frank Jackson to closest-worlds accounts of indicative conditionals, and shows that these objections can be met by the account outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-269
Number of pages55
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003




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