David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoria 75 (4):336-343 (2009)
Jonathan Schaffer (2004 ) proposes an ingenious amendment to David Lewis's semantics for counterfactuals. This amendment explicitly invokes the notion of causal independence, thus giving up Lewis's ambitions for a reductive counterfactual account of causation. But in return, it rescues Lewis's semantics from extant counterexamples. I present a new counterexample that defeats even Schaffer's amendment. Further, I argue that a better approach would be to follow the causal modelling literature and evaluate counterfactuals via an explicit postulated causal structure. This alternative approach easily resolves the new counterexample, as well as all the previous ones. Up to now, its perceived drawback relative to Lewis's scheme has been its non-reductiveness. But since the same drawback applies equally to Schaffer's amended scheme, this becomes no longer a point of comparative disadvantage.
|Keywords||counterfactuals causation reduction|
|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
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Judea Pearl (2000). Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference. Cambridge University Press.
David Lewis (1986). Philosophical Papers Vol. II. 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.
David Lewis (1979). Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow. Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alan Penczek (1997). Counterfactuals with True Components. Erkenntnis 46 (1):79-85.
Aidan McGlynn (2012). The Problem of True-True Counterfactuals. Analysis 72 (2):276-285.
Paul Noordhof (2005). Morgenbesser's Coin, Counterfactuals and Independence. Analysis 65 (287):261–263.
Jiji Zhang (2013). A Lewisian Logic of Causal Counterfactuals. Minds and Machines 23 (1):77-93.
Charles B. Cross (2008). Antecedent-Relative Comparative World Similarity. Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (2):101-120.
David Galles & Judea Pearl (1998). An Axiomatic Characterization of Causal Counterfactuals. Foundations of Science 3 (1):151-182.
Jonathan Schaffer (2005). Quiddistic Knowledge. Philosophical Studies 123 (1-2):1-32.
Jonathan Schaffer (2012). Causal Contextualisms. In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy: New Perspectives. Routledge
Jonathan Schaffer (2004). Counterfactuals, Causal Independence and Conceptual Circularity. Analysis 64 (4):299–308.
Added to index2009-11-26
Total downloads80 ( #49,709 of 1,790,253 )
Recent downloads (6 months)23 ( #34,974 of 1,790,253 )
How can I increase my downloads?