more from Rudolph Carnap

Single Idea 14305

[catalogued under 10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals]

Full Idea

If a wooden match was completely burned up yesterday, and never placed in water at any time, is it not the case, therefore, that the match is soluble (in the truth-functional view). This follows just from the antecedent being false.

Gist of Idea

In the truth-functional account a burnt-up match was soluble because it never entered water


Rudolph Carnap (Testability and Meaning [1937], I.440), quoted by Stephen Mumford - Dispositions

Book Reference

Mumford,Stephen: 'Dispositions' [OUP 1998], p.46

A Reaction

This, along with Edgington's nice example of the conditional command (Idea ) seems conclusive against the truth-functional account. The only defence possible is some sort of pragmatic account about implicature.

Related Idea

Idea 14290 Doctor:'If patient still alive, change dressing'; Nurse:'Either dead patient, or change dressing'; kills patient! [Edgington]