Moody Conditionals
Hamburgers, Switches, and the Tragic Death
of an American President

Hans Rott

Institute for Philosophy
University of Regensburg
93040 Regensburg


Following the advice of Johan van Benthem, I try to sort out some basic intuitions about conditionals. Two default rules for the interpretation of indicative and subjunctive conditionals are discussed. According to the first, indicative conditionals are ``open'' and subjunctive conditionals are ``counterfactual'' (or, better: ``belief-contravening''). According to the second, indicative conditionals are ``epistemic'' (or, better: ``doxastic'') and subjunctive conditionals are ``ontic''. I suggest that temporal reasoning is necessary for understanding the difference between epistemic and ontic conditionals in terms of belief update operations.

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