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Der Kettenschluss – eine Verteidigung

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Proponents of conditional logics such as David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker reject inferences containing counterfactuals from "if A, B" and "if B, C" to "if A, C" due to ordinary language counterexamples. Contextualists defend this inference rule called "hypothetical syllogism" or "transitivity" on the basis of a possible word semantics, which, however, assigns implausible truth values to certain counterfactuals. My defence of hypothetical syllogism avoids this problem, as it rests on Nelson Goodman's uncontroversial, metaphysically parsimonious assumption that we accept counterfactuals as true only under certain conditions from which, in conjunction with the antecedent, the consequent can be inferred. The counterexamples to hypothetical syllogism can be rebutted because their premises are doxastically noncotenable; that is, there is no set of conditions under which the premises can be accepted as jointly true.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2020

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  • The journal Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, appearing since 1946, is among the most important academic German language journals. It is open to all topics, approaches, and positions of philosophical thought. Given the increasing differentiation and specialization of the field, it thus constitutes a forum offering its various disciplines the opportunity for mutual recognition and exchange. The articles published in it are subject to an anonymous peer review in which internationally renowned scholars of all areas of contemporary philosophical research participate.

    Die seit 1946 erscheinende Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung gehört zu den wichtigsten deutschsprachigen Fachzeitschriften und steht allen Themen, Richtungen und Positionen der philosophischen Forschung offen. Angesichts der zunehmenden Ausdifferenzierung und Spezialisierung des Faches bietet sie damit auch ein Forum, in dem die verschiedenen Teildisziplinen sich gegenseitig wahrnehmen und in ein gemeinsames Gespräch kommen können. Die in ihr publizierten Abhandlungen durchlaufen ein anonymes Begutachtungsverfahren, an dem international anerkannte Forscher aus allen Spezialgebieten der gegenwärtigen philosophischen Forschung beteiligt sind.
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