A Peculiarity in Pearl's Logic of Interventionist Counterfactuals

Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (5):783-794 (2013)
Abstract
We examine a formal semantics for counterfactual conditionals due to Judea Pearl, which formalizes the interventionist interpretation of counterfactuals central to the interventionist accounts of causation and explanation. We show that a characteristic principle validated by Pearl’s semantics, known as the principle of reversibility, states a kind of irreversibility: counterfactual dependence (in David Lewis’s sense) between two distinct events is irreversible. Moreover, we show that Pearl’s semantics rules out only mutual counterfactual dependence, not cyclic dependence in general. This, we argue, suggests that Pearl’s logic is either too weak or too strong
Keywords Causal model  Counterfactual logic  Counterfactual dependence  Interventionism
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References found in this work BETA
Myles Brand (1977). Identity Conditions for Events. American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (4):329 - 337.
Rachael Briggs (2012). Interventionist Counterfactuals. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.

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