David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 146 (2):233 - 248 (2009)
I consider backtracking reasoning: that is, reasoning from backtracking counterfactuals such as if Hitler had won the war, he would have invaded Russia six weeks earlier. Backtracking counterfactuals often strike us as true. Despite that, reasoning from them just as often strikes us as illegitimate. A number of diagnoses have been offered of the illegitimacy of such backtracking reasoning which invoke the fixity of the past, or the direction of causation. I argue against such diagnoses, and in favor of one that invokes a principle I call the fixity of reasons. Backtracking reasoning violates the fixity of reasons. But, the fixity of reasons is a principle that must be observed in order to engage in practical reasoning at all.
|Keywords||Counterfactual Reason Backtracking Past Fixity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1979). Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow. Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
P. B. Downing (1958). Subjunctive Conditionals, Time Order, and Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59:125 - 140.
Citations of this work BETA
John Martin Fischer & Garrett Pendergraft (2013). Does the Consequence Argument Beg the Question? Philosophical Studies 166 (3):575-595.
Similar books and articles
Stephanie Beardman (2007). The Special Status of Instrumental Reasons. Philosophical Studies 134 (2):255 - 287.
James M. Joyce (2010). Causal Reasoning and Backtracking. Philosophical Studies 147 (1):139 - 154.
Jonathan Westphal (2003). A New Way with the Consequence Argument, and the Fixity of the Laws. Analysis 63 (3):208-212.
John Fischer (2011). Foreknowledge, Freedom, and the Fixity of the Past. Philosophia 39 (3):461-474.
Joseph Diekemper (2005). Presentism and Ontological Symmetry. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):223 – 240.
Maria Alvarez (2010). Reasons for Action and Practical Reasoning. Ratio 23 (4):355-373.
Christopher Hookway (2006). Reasons for Belief, Reasoning, Virtues. Philosophical Studies 130 (1):47--70.
Aaron James (2007). Constructivism About Practical Reasons. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):302–325.
Graham Oddie (1990). Backwards Causation and the Permanence of the Past. Synthese 85 (1):71 - 93.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #64,683 of 1,792,900 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #170,535 of 1,792,900 )
How can I increase my downloads?