Does a predictive conditional have a truth table value?

I have this question because we can't check if the antecedent or consequent is true or false.


A truth-value is associated with a material conditional. The material conditional can then be used in a truth-functional logic where truth tables provide the truth value of the conditional based on the truth values of the antecedent and consequent.

However, the material conditional may not be the best way to symbolize a conditional in a natural language such as English. Wikipedia provides an example:

One problem is that the material conditional allows implications to be true even when the antecedent is irrelevant to the consequent. For example, it's commonly accepted that the sun is made of plasma, on one hand, and that 3 is a prime number, on the other. The standard definition of implication allows us to conclude that, if the sun is made of plasma, then 3 is a prime number. This is arguably synonymous to the following: the sun's being made of plasma renders 3 a prime number. Many people intuitively think that this is false, because the sun and the number three simply have nothing to do with one another. Logicians have tried to address this concern by developing alternative logics, e.g., relevance logic.

There is also the problem of ambiguity inherent in natural language that the material conditional avoids with having only "true" or "false" as truth values.

Wikipedia notes the lack of a "stipulated definition" for natural language conditional sentences which truth tables provide for material conditionals:

In natural languages, an indicative conditional is the logical operation given by statements of the form "If A then B". Unlike the material conditional, an indicative conditional does not have a stipulated definition. The philosophical literature on this operation is broad, and no clear consensus has been reached.

So one cannot in general assign a truth value to a natural language conditional which includes predictive conditionals of that natural language.


Wikipedia, "Indicative conditional" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indicative_conditional

Wikipedia, "Material conditional" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Material_conditional

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