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  1. A. Ahmed (2010). Out of the Closet. Analysis 71 (1):77-85.
  2. Arif Ahmed (2011). Walters on Conjunction Conditionalization. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):115-122.
    This discussion note examines a recent argument for the principle that any counterfactual with true components is itself true. That argument rests upon two widely accepted principles of counterfactual logic to which the paper presents counterexamples. The conclusion speculates briefly upon the wider lessons that philosophers should draw from these examples for the semantics of counterfactuals.
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  3. Ana Arregui (2009). On Similarity in Counterfactuals. Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (3):245-278.
    This paper investigates the interpretation of counterfactual conditionals. The main goal of the paper is to provide an account of the semantic role of similarity in the evaluation of counterfactuals. The paper proposes an analysis according to which counterfactuals are treated as predications “ de re ” over past situations in the actual world. The relevant situations enter semantic composition via the interpretation of tense. Counterfactuals are treated as law-like conditionals with de re predication over particular facts. Similarity with respect (...)
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  4. S. Barker (1999). Counterfactuals, Probabilistic Counterfactuals and Causation. Mind 108 (431):427-469.
    It seems to be generally accepted that (a) counterfactual conditionals are to be analysed in terms of possible worlds and inter-world relations of similarity and (b) causation is conceptually prior to counterfactuals. I argue here that both (a) and (b) are false. The argument against (a) is not a general metaphysical or epistemological one but simply that, structurally speaking, possible worlds theories are wrong: this is revealed when we try to extend them to cover the case of probabilistic counterfactuals. Indeed (...)
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  5. Stephen Barker (2011). Can Counterfactuals Really Be About Possible Worlds? Noûs 45 (3):557-576.
    The standard view about counterfactuals is that a counterfactual (A > C) is true if and only if the A-worlds most similar to the actual world @ are C-worlds. I argue that the worlds conception of counterfactuals is wrong. I assume that counterfactuals have non-trivial truth-values under physical determinism. I show that the possible-worlds approach cannot explain many embeddings of the form (P > (Q > R)), which intuitively are perfectly assertable, and which must be true if the contingent falsity (...)
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  6. Francesco Berto (2013). Impossible Worlds. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013).
    It is a venerable slogan due to David Hume, and inherited by the empiricist tradition, that the impossible cannot be believed, or even conceived. In Positivismus und Realismus, Moritz Schlick claimed that, while the merely practically impossible is still conceivable, the logically impossible, such as an explicit inconsistency, is simply unthinkable. -/- An opposite philosophical tradition, however, maintains that inconsistencies and logical impossibilities are thinkable, and sometimes believable, too. In the Science of Logic, Hegel already complained against “one of the (...)
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  7. Tomasz Bigaj (2013). How to Evaluate Counterfactuals in the Quantum World. Synthese 190 (4):619-637.
    In the article I discuss possible amendments and corrections to Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals that are necessary in order to account for the indeterministic and non-local character of the quantum world. I argue that Lewis’s criteria of similarity between possible worlds produce incorrect valuations for alternate-outcome counterfactuals in the EPR case. Later I discuss an alternative semantics which rejects the notion of miraculous events and relies entirely on the comparison of the agreement with respect to individual facts. However, a controversy (...)
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  8. Tomasz Bigaj (2006). Non-Locality and Possible Worlds. A Counterfactual Perspective on Quantum Entanglement. Ontos Verlag.
    This book uses the formal semantics of counterfactual conditionals to analyze the problem of non-locality in quantum mechanics. Counterfactual conditionals enter the analysis of quantum entangled systems in that they enable us to precisely formulate the locality condition that purports to exclude the existence of causal interactions between spatially separated parts of a system. They also make it possible to speak consistently about alternative measuring settings, and to explicate what is meant by quantum property attributions. The book develops the possible-world (...)
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  9. Tomasz Bigaj (2004). Counterfactuals and Spatiotemporal Events. Synthese 142 (1):1 - 19.
    One of the basic assumptions of David Lewis''s formal semantics of counterfactuals is that the crucial relation of comparative similarity between possible worlds is a linear ordering.Yet there are arguments that when we take into account relativistic features of space-time, this relationshould be only a partial ordering. The first part of the paper deals with the question of how to formulate appropriatetruth conditions for counterfactuals under the supposition of a partial ordering of possible worlds. Such truthconditions will be put forward, (...)
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  10. John C. Bigelow (1976). If-Then Meets the Possible Worlds. Philosophia 6 (2):215-235.
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  11. Jens Christian Bjerring (2013). On Counterpossibles. Philosophical Studies (2):1-27.
    The traditional Lewis–Stalnaker semantics treats all counterfactuals with an impossible antecedent as trivially or vacuously true. Many have regarded this as a serious defect of the semantics. For intuitively, it seems, counterfactuals with impossible antecedents—counterpossibles—can be non-trivially true and non-trivially false. Whereas the counterpossible "If Hobbes had squared the circle, then the mathematical community at the time would have been surprised" seems true, "If Hobbes had squared the circle, then sick children in the mountains of Afghanistan at the time would (...)
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  12. G. Lee Bowie (1979). The Similarity Approach to Counterfactuals: Some Problems. Noûs 13 (4):477-498.
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  13. Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno (2013). Remarks on Counterpossibles. Synthese 190 (4):639-660.
    Since the publication of David Lewis’ Counterfactuals, the standard line on subjunctive conditionals with impossible antecedents (or counterpossibles) has been that they are vacuously true. That is, a conditional of the form ‘If p were the case, q would be the case’ is trivially true whenever the antecedent, p, is impossible. The primary justification is that Lewis’ semantics best approximates the English subjunctive conditional, and that a vacuous treatment of counterpossibles is a consequence of that very elegant theory. Another justification (...)
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  14. Berit Brogaard & Joe Salerno (2008). Counterfactuals and Context. Analysis 68 (297):39–46.
    It is widely agreed that contraposition, strengthening the antecedent and hypothetical syllogism fail for subjunctive conditionals. The following putative counter-examples are frequently cited, respectively.
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  15. Gabriele Contessa (2006). On the Supposed Temporal Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence; Or: It Wouldn't Have Taken a Miracle! Dialectica 60 (4):461–473.
    The thesis that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world plays a central role in Lewis’s philosophy, as. among other things, it underpins one of Lewis most renowned theses—that causation can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual dependence. To maintain that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world, Lewis committed himself to two other theses. The first is that the closest possible worlds at which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true is one in which (...)
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  16. Lewis G. Creary & Christopher S. Hill (1975). Book Review:Counterfactuals David Lewis. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-.
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  17. Charles B. Cross (2011). Comparative World Similarity and What is Held Fixed in Counterfactuals. Analysis 71 (1):91-96.
    Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno (Counterfactuals and Context, ANALYSIS 68 (2008): 39-46) argue that the standard Stalnaker-Lewis counterexamples to hypothetical syllogism, strengthening the antecedent, and contraposition trade on a failure to hold fixed the context in which truth values are determined for the premises and conclusion in each counterexample. I argue that no contextual fallacy is committed in the standard counterexamples, and I offer a different view of what it is for a fact to be held fixed by a counterfactual (...)
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  18. Charles B. Cross (2008). Antecedent-Relative Comparative World Similarity. Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (2):101-120.
    In “Backward Causation and the Stalnaker–Lewis Approach to Counterfactuals,” Analysis 62:191–7, (2002), Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker–Lewis comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. In “Tooley on Backward Causation,” Analysis 63:157–62, (2003), Paul Noordhof argues that Tooley’s example can be reconciled with a Stalnaker–Lewis account of counterfactuals if the comparative world similarity relation on which the Stalnaker–Lewis account relies is allowed to be antecedent-relative. (...)
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  19. Charles B. Cross (2006). Conditional Logic and the Significance of Tooley's Example. Analysis 66 (292):325–335.
    In "Backward causation and the Stalnaker-Lewis approach to counterfactuals," Analysis 62 (2002): 191–97, Michael Tooley argues that if a certain kind of backward causation is possible, then a Stalnaker-Lewis style comparative world similarity account of the truth conditions of counterfactuals cannot be sound. Tooley’s target is one particular type of semantics, but, as I show, the significance of Tooley’s example goes well beyond its consequences for any one semantics for the conditional.
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  20. Keith DeRose (1994). Lewis on 'Might' and 'Would' Counterfactual Conditionals. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):413 - 418.
  21. Vladan Djordjevic (2013). Similarity and Cotenability. Synthese 190 (4):681-691.
    In this paper I present some difficulties for Lewis’s and similar theories of counterfactuals, and suggest that the problem lies in the notion of absolute similarity. In order to explain the problem, I discuss the relation between Lewis’s and Goodman’s theory, and show that the two theories are not related in the way Lewis thought they were.
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  22. Dylan Dodd (2011). Quasi-Miracles, Typicality, and Counterfactuals. Synthese 179 (3):351 - 360.
    If one flips an unbiased coin a million times, there are 2 1,000,000 series of possible heads/tails sequences, any one of which might be the sequence that obtains, and each of which is equally likely to obtain. So it seems (1) 'If I had tossed a fair coin one million times, it might have landed heads every time' is true. But as several authors have pointed out, (2) 'If I had tossed a fair coin a million times, it wouldn't have (...)
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  23. Daniel Dohrn, Counterfactuals, Accessibility, and Comparative Similarity.
    Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno (2008) have defended the validity of counterfactual hypothetical syllogism (CHS) within the Stalnaker-Lewis account. Whenever the premisses of an instance of CHS are non-vacuosly true, a shift in context has occurred. Hence the standard counterexamples to CHS suffer from context failure. Charles Cross (2011) rejects this argument as irreconcilable with the Stalnaker-Lewis account. I argue against Cross that the basic Stalnaker-Lewis truth condition may be supplemented in a way that makes (CHS) valid. Yet pace Brogaard (...)
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  24. Dorothy Edgington (2004). Counterfactuals and the Benefit of Hindsight. In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World. Routledge.
  25. Brian Ellis, Frank Jackson & Robert Pargetter (1977). An Objection to Possible-World Semantics for Counterfactual Logics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 6 (1):355 - 357.
  26. Brian Embry (2014). Counterfactuals Without Possible Worlds? A Difficulty for Fine’s Exact Semantics for Counterfactuals. Journal of Philosophy (5).
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  27. Kit Fine (2012). A Difficulty for the Possible Worlds Analysis of Counterfactuals. Synthese 189 (1):29-57.
    I present a puzzle concerning counterfactual reasoning and argue that it should be solved by giving up the principle of substitution for logical equivalents.
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  28. David Galles & Judea Pearl (1998). An Axiomatic Characterization of Causal Counterfactuals. Foundations of Science 3 (1):151-182.
    This paper studies the causal interpretation of counterfactual sentences using a modifiable structural equation model. It is shown that two properties of counterfactuals, namely, composition and effectiveness, are sound and complete relative to this interpretation, when recursive (i.e., feedback-less) models are considered. Composition and effectiveness also hold in Lewis's closest-world semantics, which implies that for recursive models the causal interpretation imposes no restrictions beyond those embodied in Lewis's framework. A third property, called reversibility, holds in nonrecursive causal models but not (...)
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  29. Eduardo García-Ramírez (2012). Trans-World Causation? Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):71-83.
    According to Lewis, causal claims must be analysed in terms of counterfactual conditionals, and these in turn are understood in terms of relations of comparative similarity among single concrete possible worlds. Lewis also claims that there is no trans-world causation because there is no way to make sense of trans-world counterfactuals without automatically making them come out to be false. In this paper I argue against this claim. I show how to make sense of trans-world counterfactuals in a non-trivial way (...)
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  30. Anthony S. Gillies (2007). Counterfactual Scorekeeping. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):329 - 360.
    Counterfactuals are typically thought--given the force of Sobel sequences--to be variably strict conditionals. I go the other way. Sobel sequences and (what I call) Hegel sequences push us to a strict conditional analysis of counterfactuals: counterfactuals amount to some necessity modal scoped over a plain material conditional, just which modal being a function of context. To make this worth saying I need to say just how counterfactuals and context interact. No easy feat, but I have something to say on the (...)
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  31. Phillip Goggans (1992). Do the Closest Counterfactual Worlds Contain Miracles? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):137 - 149.
    David Lewis and many others hold that the "antecedent-worlds" relevant for the evaluations of most counterfactuals contain violations of the laws of the actual world, or "miracles". But this isn’t necessary. We may think of the counterfactual present "as if" it were the result of an unlawful divergence from actual history, while still extrapolating to a lawful counterfactual past. Not only does this account render miracles unnecessary, it serves as a unified way to evaluate forward and backward counterfactuals.
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  32. Jeffrey Goodman (2004). An Extended Lewis-Stalnaker Semantics and The New Problem of Counterpossibles. Philosophical Papers 33 (1):35-66.
    Closest-possible-world analyses of counterfactuals suffer from what has been called the ‘problem of counterpossibles’: some counterfactuals with metaphysically impossible antecedents seem plainly false, but the proposed analyses imply that they are all (vacuously) true. One alleged solution to this problem is the addition of impossible worlds. In this paper, I argue that the closest possible or impossible world analyses that have recently been suggested suffer from the ‘new problem of counterpossibles’: the proposed analyses imply that some plainly true counterpossibles (viz., (...)
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  33. Lars Bo Gundersen (2004). Outline of a New Semantics for Counterfactuals. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1):1–20.
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  34. Alan Hájek (2007). Most Counterfactuals Are False. Unpublished Article.
  35. John F. Halpin (1989). Counterfactual Analysis: Can the Metalinguistic Theory Be Revitalized? Synthese 81 (1):47 - 62.
    This paper evaluates the recent trend to renounce the similarity approach to counterfactuals in favor of the older metalinguistic theory. I try to show, first, that the metalinguistic theory cannot work in anything like its present form (the form described by many in the last decade who claim to be able to solve Goodman''s old problem of cotenability). This is so, I argue, because the metalinguistic theory requires laws of nature of a sort that we (apparently) do not have: current (...)
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  36. Ivar Hannikainen (2011). Might-Counterfactuals and the Principle of Conditional Excluded Middle. Disputatio 4 (30):127-149.
    Owing to the problem of inescapable clashes, epistemic accounts of might-counterfactuals have recently gained traction. In a different vein, the might argument against conditional excluded middle has rendered the latter a contentious principle to incorporate into a logic for conditionals. The aim of this paper is to rescue both ontic mightcounterfactuals and conditional excluded middle from these disparate debates and show them to be compatible. I argue that the antecedent of a might-counterfactual is semantically underdetermined with respect to the counterfactual (...)
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  37. John Hawthorne (2005). Chance and Counterfactuals. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):396–405.
    Suppose the world is chancy. The worry arises that most ordinary counterfactuals are false. This paper examines David Lewis' strategy for rescuing such counterfactuals, and argues that it is highly problematic.
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  38. Mark Heller (1995). Might-Counterfactuals and Gratuitous Differences. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (1):91 – 101.
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  39. Vincent Hendricks (ed.) (forthcoming). Synesthe Volume.
  40. Hans G. Herzberger (1979). Counterfactuals and Consistency. Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):83-88.
  41. Andrea Iacona, Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.
    This paper defends the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Its purpose is to show that there is a coherent view according to which counterfactuals are strict conditionals whose antecedent is stated elliptically. Section 1 introduces the view. Section 2 outlines a response to the main argument against the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Section 3 compares the view with a proposal due to Aqvist, which may be regarded as its direct predecessor. Sections 4 and 5 explain how the (...)
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  42. Boris Kment (2006). Counterfactuals and Explanation. Mind 115 (458):261-310.
    On the received view, counterfactuals are analysed using the concept of closeness between possible worlds: the counterfactual 'If it had been the case that p, then it would have been the case that q' is true at a world w just in case q is true at all the possible p-worlds closest to w. The degree of closeness between two worlds is usually thought to be determined by weighting different respects of similarity between them. The question I consider in the (...)
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  43. Daniel Krasner & Mark Heller (1994). The Miracle of Counterfactuals: Counterexamples to Lewis's World Ordering. Philosophical Studies 76 (1):27 - 43.
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  44. Angelika Kratzer (1986). Conditionals. Chicago Linguistics Society 22 (2):1–15.
  45. Thomas Kroedel & Franz Huber (2013). Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow. Noûs 47 (3):453-466.
    We argue that a semantics for counterfactual conditionals in terms of comparative overall similarity faces a formal limitation due to Arrow’s impossibility theorem from social choice theory. According to Lewis’s account, the truth-conditions for counterfactual conditionals are given in terms of the comparative overall similarity between possible worlds, which is in turn determined by various aspects of similarity between possible worlds. We argue that a function from aspects of similarity to overall similarity should satisfy certain plausible constraints while Arrow’s impossibility (...)
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  46. Igal Kvart (1986). A Theory of Counterfactuals. Hackett.
  47. David Lewis (1981). Ordering Semantics and Premise Semantics for Counterfactuals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 10 (2):217-234.
  48. David Lewis (1979). Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow. Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
  49. David Lewis (1977). Possible-World Semantics for Counterfactual Logics: A Rejoinder. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophical Logic 6 (1):359-363.
  50. David Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals and Comparative Possibility. Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):418-446.
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