Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 5, May 2013

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Journal of Philosophy Vol. 110, No. 5, May 2013

Article excerpt

Conditionals and a Two Envelope Paradox, BYEONG-UK YI

The article presents a solution to Smullyan's version of the two envelope paradox. In doing so, it argues against the probabilistic and possible world approaches to conditionals. These approaches yield the thesis that contrary indicative conditionals whose common antecedent state a possibility (for example, "If Ali has more than Baba, the difference between the amounts in them is $5" and "If Ali has more than Baba, the difference between the amounts in them is $10") are incompatible. The article argues that this thesis is false although its counterfactual cousin is true. It explains this disparity between indicative and counterfactual conditionals by clarifying important logical differences between them: (a) substitutivity of identity holds for indicatives but fails for counterfactuals, and Co) counterfactuals preserve possibility while indicatives preserve only truth.--Correspondence to b.yi@utoronto.ca

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