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NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 41, March 2011

Ching-Hui Su
Pages 113-133

On the Triviality Results and the Restriction on Conditionalization

Lewis’s arguments for the triviality results are considered as a powerful rejection of the truth-conditional accounts of conditionals: the absurd consequence that for any propositions A and C, p(C/A) = p(C) is derived from the classical probability calculus, conditionalization, and Stalnaker’s semantics for conditionals. In this paper, it is argued that the triviality results need not be a threat to Stalnaker’s semantics, for we can derive a generalized triviality result from the classical probability theory and any thesis about conditional probability. The lesson, I suggest, is that we should reconsider the classical probability theory or set a restriction on the rule of conditionalization such that the triviality results may be avoided.

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