Originally posted by bbarr
Those pesky conditionals....
All of those sentences are true, but trivially so. Whenever the antecedent of a conditional is false, the conditional itself is true. Whenever the consequent of a conditional is true, the conditional is itself true. The only way a conditional of that sort comes out false is if the antecedent is true and the conditional is fal ...[text shortened]... g first-order logic to formalize natural languages may have some counter-intuitive consequences.
Oops, I should have said "one for the non-philosphers"
. The convention you explain is the one used in mathematics, but I was curious as to whether this was agreed upon by philosophers as well. Interestingly, we do use such constructions in evveryday conversation, but only as exclamations, eg "If those shoes are worth £100, then I'm the Queen of Sheba!" Perhaps the convention isn't as counter-intuitive as it might seem.
On a similar note, my father, who has a contract to teach people to use a sophisicated search engine, informs me that many people find the formal definition(s) of 'AND' or 'OR' confusing. (That's an inclusive or