Fatalism and the Logic of Unconditionals (Justin Bledin)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on November 26th from 4:15-6:15 in room 6494 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Justin Bledin (Johns Hopkins).

Title: Fatalism and the Logic of Unconditionals

Abstract: In this talk, I consider a variant of the ancient Idle Argument involving so-called “unconditionals” with interrogative antecedents. This new Idle Argument provides an ideal setting for probing the logic of these close relatives of “if”-conditionals, which has been comparatively underexplored. In the course of refuting the argument, I argue that contrary to received wisdom, many unconditionals do not entail their main clauses, yet modus ponens is still unrestrictedly valid for this class of expressions. I make these lessons precise in a formal system drawing on recent work in inquisitive semantics. My larger aim is to challenge standard truth preservation accounts of logic and deductive argumentation.

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