David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (2):181 - 231 (2005)
The connection between the probabilities of conditionals and the corresponding conditional probabilities has long been explored in the philosophical literature, but its implementation faces both technical obstacles and objections on empirical grounds. In this paper I ?rst outline the motivation for the probabilistic turn and Lewis’ triviality results, which stand in the way of what would seem to be its most straightforward implementation. I then focus on Richard Jeffrey’s ’random-variable’ approach, which circumvents these problems by giving up the notion that conditionals denote propositions in the usual sense. Even so, however, the random-variable approach makes counterintuitive predictions in simple cases of embedded conditionals. I propose to address this problem by enriching the model with an explicit representation of causal dependencies. The addition of such causal information not only remedies the shortcomings of Jeffrey’s conditional, but also opens up the possibility of a uni?ed probabilistic account of indicative and counterfactual conditionals.
|Keywords||conditionals counterfactuals probability causality|
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References found in this work BETA
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
Judea Pearl (2000). Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference. Cambridge University Press.
Jonathan Bennett (2003). A Philosophical Guide to Conditionals. Oxford University Press.
Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines (1996). Causation, Prediction, and Search. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.
Dorothy Edgington (1995). On Conditionals. Mind 104 (414):235-329.
Citations of this work BETA
Paul Égré & Mikaël Cozic (2011). If-Clauses and Probability Operators. Topoi 30 (1):17-29.
Hannes Leitgeb (2012). A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B. Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
Justin Khoo (2013). Conditionals, Indeterminacy, and Triviality. Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):260-287.
Morteza Dehghani, Rumen Iliev & Stefan Kaufmann (2012). Causal Explanation and Fact Mutability in Counterfactual Reasoning. Mind and Language 27 (1):55-85.
J. Robert G. Williams (2012). Counterfactual Triviality: A Lewis-Impossibility Argument for Counterfactuals. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.
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