Saturday, 13 June 2015

Confusing Condition With Probability

Martin (1992: 197):
Inclusive conditionals can be further divided into factual and counterfactual; with counterfactuals the beta-clause [omitted verb] an additional secondary [past] tense.
[4:70]  If we had prepared well,
we would have won.
Factual conditionals choose among high, median and low modalisation, according to the probability of the Cause taking place:
[4:71]  If we enter
           we'll win. 
[4:72]  Provided we enter
           we'll win. 
[4:73]  As long as we enter
           we'll win.

Blogger Comments:

[1] This confuses the logico-semantic relation of condition with the truth values of the meanings realised by the clauses conditionally related in a nexus.

(In formal logic, a counterfactual conditional — in contradistinction to a material conditional — is a subjunctive conditional containing an if-clause which is contrary to fact.)

[2] This confuses the logico-semantic relation of condition with interpersonal modality values.  Within that error, it wrongly claims that the beta-clauses of three clause nexuses differ in probability values.  In terms of logical meaning, each nexus is simply if P then Q.

If the nexuses had differed in modalisation values, the 'factual conditionals' would've looked something like the following, with the modalisation values enacted in the alpha-clauses:
If/Provided/As long as we enter, we'll possibly win
If/Provided/As long as we enter, we'll probably win
If/Provided/As long as we enter, we'll certainly win
 [3] Because the logico-semantic relation is condition, rather than cause: reason, there is no cause-effect relation construed in these clause nexuses.

If the logico-semantic relation had been reason, there would've been a cause-effect relation construed in the clause nexuses.