David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
A ‘might’ counterfactual is a sentence of the form ‘If it had been the case that A, it might have been the case that C’. Recently, John Hawthorne has argued that the truth of many ‘might’ counterfactuals precludes the truth of most ‘would’ counterfactuals. I examine the semantics of ‘might’ counterfactuals, with one eye towards defusing this argument, but mostly with the aim of understanding this interesting class of sentences better.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads100 ( #8,587 of 1,012,593 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #22,161 of 1,012,593 )
How can I increase my downloads?
|Start a new thread||There is 1 thread in this forum|
University of Birmingham
Cross-posted from http://mleseminar.wordpress.com/
We thought a bit about cases in which ‘could’ and ‘might’ come apart. In the paper, Antony discussed sentences like
33b) If we’d left the gate open, the dog could have got out; yet if we’d left the gate open, it isn’t the case that the dog might have got out.
The felicity of such sentences seems to show that at least some ‘might’ counterfactuals shouldn’t be analysed in terms of ‘could’, but instead should be given an epistemic reading. Antony isn’t averse to this idea – in fact, his final view is that ‘might’ is ambiguous in counterfactual contexts between the epistemic reading and the ability reading. However, this does invite the further question of what determines the appropriate reading for some given ‘might’ counterfactual.
Fron 33b we naturally conclude though the dog has the ability to get out, it is ... (read more)