Morgenbesser's Coin, counterfactuals, and causal versus probabilistic independence

Erkenntnis 71 (3):345 - 354 (2009)
Abstract
It is widely held that, as Morgenbesser’s case is usually taken to show, considerations of causal or probabilistic dependence should enter into the evaluation of counterfactuals. This paper challenges that idea. I present a modified version of Morgenbesser’s case and show how probabilistic approaches to counterfactuals are in serious trouble. Specifically, I show how probabilistic approaches run into a dilemma in characterizing probabilistic independence. The modified case also illustrates a difficulty in defining causal independence. I close with a suggestion for a strategy to handle this difficulty.
Keywords Counterfactuals  Morgenbesser’s Case  Causal Independence  Probabilistic Independence
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References found in this work BETA
Frank Jackson (1977). A Causal Theory of Counterfactuals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):3 – 21.
Igal Kvart (1994). Causal Independence. Philosophy of Science 61 (1):96-114.
David Lewis (2000). Causation as Influence. Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.

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