Hans Rott (Universität Regensburg):
"If the weather is nice, we'll go hiking" -- Antecedents that make a difference
Along with the word "not", the word "if" is one of the most important and fascinating words in logic. Its meaning was already intensively discussed in the Megarian and Stoic schools of the 3rd century BC. For more than 100 years, formal logic has had its own symbol for the word, and then the question arose as to how close this symbol comes to the use of "if" in natural language. This talk will sketch the route from the so-called "material" conditional (characterized by its famous truth table) via the "strict" conditional and the "variably strict" conditional up to a debate that has been active for about 15 years and pursues the natural but formerly neglected idea that the antecedent of a conditional sentence should make a difference to the truth or acceptability of the consequent.