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  1. Bernoulli Semantics and Ordinal Semantics for Conditionals.Stefan Kaufmann - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-22.
    Conditionals with conditional constituents pose challenges for the Thesis, the idea that the probability of a conditional is the corresponding conditional probability. This note is concerned with two proposals for overcoming those challenges, both inspired by early work of van Fraassen: the Bernoulli Semantics associated with Stalnaker and Jeffrey, and augmented with a mechanism for obtaining “local probabilities” by Kaufmann; and a proposal by Bacon which I dub Ordinal Semantics. Despite differences in mathematical details and emphasis of presentation, both proposals (...)
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  2. Counterfactuals, hyperintensionality and Hurford disjunctions.Hüseyin Güngör - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-27.
    This paper investigates propositional hyperintensionality in counterfactuals. It starts with a scenario describing two children playing on a seesaw and studies the truth-value predictions for counterfactuals by four different semantic theories. The theories in question are Kit Fine’s truthmaker semantics, Luis Alonso-Ovalle’s alternative semantics, inquisitive semantics and Paolo Santorio’s syntactic truthmaker semantics. These predictions suggest that the theories that distinguish more of a given set of intensionally equivalent sentences fare better than those that do not. Then we investigate how inquisitive (...)
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  3. The Meaning of "If".Justin Khoo - 2022 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Despite its small stature, "if" occupies a central place both in everyday language and the philosophical lexicon. In allowing us to talk about hypothetical situations, "if" raises a host of thorny philosophical puzzles about language and logic. Addressing them requires tools from linguistics, logic, probability theory, and metaphysics. Justin Khoo uses these tools to navigate a maze of interconnected issues about conditionals, some of which include: the nature of linguistic communication, the relationship between logical and natural languages, and the relationship (...)
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  4. Valid Arguments as True Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - forthcoming - Mind.
    This paper explores an idea of Stoic descent that is largely neglected nowadays, the idea that an argument is valid when the conditional formed by the conjunction of its premises as antecedent and its conclusion as consequent is true. As it will be argued, once some basic features of our naıve understanding of validity are properly spelled out, and a suitable account of conditionals is adopted, the equivalence between valid arguments and true conditionals makes perfect sense. The account of validity (...)
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  5. Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals: Timothy Williamson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. Viii + 278 Pp. £30.00. ISBN 978-0-19-886066-2.Dorothy Edgington - 2021 - History and Philosophy of Logic 43 (2):188-195.
    Conditional judgements—judgements employing ‘if’—are essential to practical reasoning about what to do, as well as to much reasoning about what is the case. We handle them well enough from an early...
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  6. Non-strict Interventionism: The Case Of Right-Nested Counterfactuals.Katrin Schulz, Sonja Smets, Fernando R. Velázquez-Quesada & Kaibo Xie - 2022 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 31 (2):235-260.
    The paper focuses on a recent challenge brought forward against the interventionist approach to the meaning of counterfactual conditionals. According to this objection, interventionism cannot account for the interpretation of right-nested counterfactuals, the problem being its strict interventionism. We will report on the results of an empirical study supporting the objection. Furthermore, we will extend the well-known logic of intervention with a new operator expressing an alternative notion of intervention that does away with strict interventionism. This new notion of intervention (...)
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  7. A graph model for probabilities of nested conditionals.Anna Wójtowicz & Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2022 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (3):511-558.
    We define a model for computing probabilities of right-nested conditionals in terms of graphs representing Markov chains. This is an extension of the model for simple conditionals from Wójtowicz and Wójtowicz. The model makes it possible to give a formal yet simple description of different interpretations of right-nested conditionals and to compute their probabilities in a mathematically rigorous way. In this study we focus on the problem of the probabilities of conditionals; we do not discuss questions concerning logical and metalogical (...)
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  8. Alternatives in Counterfactuals: What Is Right and What Is Not.Jacopo Romoli, Paolo Santorio & Eva Wittenberg - 2022 - Journal of Semantics 39 (2):213-260.
    Classical semantics for counterfactuals is based on a notion of minimal change: If ${\textsf {A}}$, would ${\textsf {C}}$ says that the worlds that make ${\textsf {A}}$ true and that are otherwise minimally different from the actual world are ${\textsf {C}}$-worlds. This semantics suffers from a well-known difficulty with disjunctive antecedents. In a recent study, Ciardelli, Zhang, and Champollion present new, related difficulties for the classical approach having to do with unpredicted differences between counterfactuals with De Morgan-equivalent antecedents, and related pattern (...)
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  9. Conditionals: Logic, Linguistics, and Psychology.Stefan Kaufmann, Over David & Ghanshyam Sharma (eds.) - forthcoming - Palgrave.
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  10. Conditionals, Causal Claims and Objectivity.Michał Sikorski - 2020 - Dissertation, Università di Torino
    In my thesis, I develop two distinct themes. The first part of my thesis is devoted to indicative conditionals and approaching them from an empirically informed perspective. In the second part, I am developing classical topics of philosophy of science, specifically, scientific objectivity and the role of values in science, in connection to recent methodological developments, revolving around the Replication Crisis.
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  11. Acceptance and Certainty, Doxastic Modals, and Indicative Conditionals.Kurt Norlin - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-21.
    I give a semantics for a logic with two pairs of doxastic modals and an indicative conditional connective that all nest without restriction. Sentences are evaluated as accepted, rejected, or neither. Certainty is the necessity-like modality of acceptance. Inferences may proceed from premises that are certain, or merely accepted, or a mix of both. This semantic setup yields some striking results. Notably, the existence of inferences that preserve certainty but not acceptance very directly implies both failure of modus ponens for (...)
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  12. Towards a theory of abduction based on conditionals.Rolf Pfister - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-30.
    Abduction is considered the most powerful, but also the most controversially discussed type of inference. Based on an analysis of Peirce’s retroduction, Lipton’s Inference to the Best Explanation and other theories, a new theory of abduction is proposed. It considers abduction not as intrinsically explanatory but as intrinsically conditional: for a given fact, abduction allows one to infer a fact that implies it. There are three types of abduction: Selective abduction selects an already known conditional whose consequent is the given (...)
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  13. Double Prevention, Causal Judgments, and Counterfactuals.Paul Henne & Kevin O'Neill - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (5):e13127.
    Cognitive Science, Volume 46, Issue 5, May 2022.
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  14. Decomposing Relevance in Conditionals.Daniel Lassiter - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  15. Strict Conditionals.Jan Heylen & Leon Horsten - 2022 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 22 (1):123-131.
    Both Lowe and Tsai have presented their own versions of the theory that both indicative and subjunctive conditionals are strict conditionals. We critically discuss both versions and we find each version wanting.
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  16. The Probability of Iterated Conditionals.Janneke van Wijnbergen-Huitink, Shira Elqayam & David E. Over - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (4):788-803.
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  17. Corrigendum To: A Suppositional Theory of Conditionals.Sam Carter - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):745-745.
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  18. Hume on the Monetary Fallacy of Monotonic Counterfactuals.Paolo Maffezioli - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-14.
    I focus on the commonly shared view that Hume’s monetary theory is inconsistent. I review several attempts to solve the alleged inconsistency in Hume’s monetary theory, including the consensus interpretation according to which Hume was committed to the neutrality of money only in the long run, while he conceded that money can be non-neutral in the short run. Then, building on a monetary version of the logical fallacy of monotonic counterfactuals in the essay Of the Balance of Trade, I argue (...)
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  19. Counterfactuals and Backtracking Counterfactuals.František Gahér - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-21.
    The paper proposes a solution to the problem of counterfactuals, building on both Rescher’s epistemic and Tichý’s semantic approaches. The core of the proposed solution is the thesis that when expressing a true counterfactual, the speaker assumes a set of background indicative premises as an implicit parameter. When added tacitly to an unreal antecedent, these premises entail the consequent logically or analytically. We draw a distinction between a potentially unreal and an absolutely unreal condition expressed in the antecedent. We view (...)
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  20. Back to the Present: How Not to Use Counterfactuals to Explain Causal Asymmetry.Alison Fernandes - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (2):43.
    A plausible thought is that we should evaluate counterfactuals in the actual world by holding the present ‘fixed’; the state of the counterfactual world at the time of the antecedent, outside the area of the antecedent, is required to match that of the actual world. When used to evaluate counterfactuals in the actual world, this requirement may produce reasonable results. However, the requirement is deeply problematic when used in the context of explaining causal asymmetry. The requirement plays a crucial role (...)
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  21. Path Semantics for Indicative Conditionals.Paolo Santorio - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):59-98.
    The literature on indicative conditionals contains two appealing views. The first is the selectional view: on this view, conditionals operate by selecting a single possibility, which is used to evaluate the consequent. The second is the informational view: on this view, conditionals don’t express propositions, but rather impose constraints on information states of speakers. Both views are supported by strong arguments, but they are incompatible on their standard formulations. Hence it appears that we have to choose between mutually exclusive options. (...)
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  22. Some Puzzles About Molinist Conditionals.Robert C. Koons - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):137-154.
    William Hasker has been one of the most trenchant and insightful critics of the revival of Molinism. He has focused on the “freedom problem”, a set of challenges designed to show that Molinism does not secure a place for genuinely free human action. These challenges focus on a key element in the Molinist story: the counterfactual conditionals of creaturely freedom. According to Molinism, these conditionals have contingent truth-values that are knowable to God prior to His decision of what world to (...)
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  23. Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals. [REVIEW]John Mackay - 2022 - Philosophical Review 131 (1):123-127.
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  24. Counterfactuals in the Initial Value Formulation of General Relativity.José Luis Jaramillo & Vincent Lam - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):1111-1128.
  25. Ellery Eells and Brian Skyrms (Eds.), Probability and Conditionals: Belief Revision and Rational Decision. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1994), 207 Pp., $69.95 (Cloth). - Jordan Howard Sobel, Taking Chances: Essays on Rational Choice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1994), 376 Pp., $80.00 (Cloth). - Cristina Bicchieri, Richard Jeffery, and Brian Skyrms (Eds.), The Dynamics of Norms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1997), 222 Pp., 74.95 (Cloth). [REVIEW]Roy Gardner - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):551-557.
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  26. Practical Conditionals.Matthew Bedke - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
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  27. Contrast and verb phrase ellipsis: The case of tautologous conditionals.Richard Stockwell - 2022 - Natural Language Semantics 30 (1):77-100.
    This paper argues that verb phrase ellipsis requires contrast. The central observation is that ellipsis is ungrammatical in tautologous conditionals; e.g., *If John wins, then he does. Ellipsis is correctly ruled out by a focus-based theory of ellipsis, but one that crucially imports focus’s requirement for contrast: an elliptical constituent must have an antecedent that is not merely an alternative to it, but a ‘proper’ alternative. An explanation in terms of contrast failure proves superior to alternative explanations in terms of (...)
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  28. The Use and Misuse of Counterfactuals in Ethical Machine Learning.Atoosa Kasirzadeh & Andrew Smart - 2021 - In ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (FAccT 21).
    The use of counterfactuals for considerations of algorithmic fairness and explainability is gaining prominence within the machine learning community and industry. This paper argues for more caution with the use of counterfactuals when the facts to be considered are social categories such as race or gender. We review a broad body of papers from philosophy and social sciences on social ontology and the semantics of counterfactuals, and we conclude that the counterfactual approach in machine learning fairness and social explainability can (...)
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  29. Sly Pete in Dynamic Semantics.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-17.
    In 'Sly Pete' or 'standoff' cases, reasonable speakers accept incompatible conditionals, and communicate them successfully to a trusting hearer. This paper uses the framework of dynamic semantics to offer a new model of the conversational dynamics at play in standoffs, and to articulate several puzzles posed by such cases. The paper resolves these puzzles by embracing a dynamic semantics for conditionals, according to which indicative conditionals require that their antecedents are possible in their local context, and update this body of (...)
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  30. Choice-Driven Counterfactuals.Ilaria Canavotto & Eric Pacuit - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (2):297-345.
    In this paper, we investigate the semantics and logic of choice-driven counterfactuals, that is, of counterfactuals whose evaluation relies on auxiliary premises about how agents are expected to act, i.e., about their default choice behavior. To do this, we merge one of the most prominent logics of agency in the philosophical literature, namely stit logic, with the well-known logic of counterfactuals due to Stalnaker and Lewis. A key component of our semantics for counterfactuals is to distinguish between deviant and non-deviant (...)
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  31. Mathematical Counterfactuals with Number-Theoretic Antecedents and Extra-Mathematical Explanation.Lars Arthur Tump - 2021 - Logique Et Analyse 254:191-213.
    A proposal by Baron, Colyvan, and Ripley to extend the counterfactual theory of explanation to include counterfactual reasoning about mathematical explanations of physical facts is discussed. Their suggestion is that the explanatory role of mathematics can best be captured counterfactually. This paper focuses on their example with a number-theoretic antecedent. Incorporating discussions on the structure and de re knowledge of numbers, it is argued that the approach leads to a change in the structure of numbers. As a result, the counterfactual (...)
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  32. Backtracking Counterfactuals and Agents’ Abilities.Helen Beebee - 2021 - In Marco Hausmann & Jörg Noller (eds.), Free Will: Historical and Analytic Perspectives. Springer Verlag. pp. 139-164.
    John Martin Fischer argues that a version of the Consequence Argument that invokes a principle he calls the ‘Principle of the Fixity of the Past and Laws’ is immune to the broadly Lewisian response that the compatibilist can make to the ‘conditional’ version of the argument. In his contribution to this volume, he argues—in part by appealing to backtracking counterfactuals—that denying PFPL leads to trouble, specifically, for the fixed-laws compatibilist. I argue on behalf of the fixed-laws compatibilist that his argument (...)
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  33. Some Lessons Learned About Adding Conditionals to Certain Many-Valued Logics.Allen P. Hazen & Francis Jeffry Pelletier - 2022 - In Ivo Düntsch & Edwin Mares (eds.), Alasdair Urquhart on Nonclassical and Algebraic Logic and Complexity of Proofs. Springer Verlag. pp. 557-570.
    There are good reasons to want logics, including many-valued logics, to have usable conditionals, and we have explored this in certain logics. However, it turns out that we “accidentally” chose some favourable logics. In this paper, we look at some of the unfavourable logics and describe where usable conditionals can be added and where it is not possible.
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  34. Ramsey’s Conditionals.Caterina Sisti & Mario Günther - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we propose a unified account of conditionals inspired by Frank Ramsey. Most contemporary philosophers agree that Ramsey’s account applies to indicative conditionals only. We observe against this orthodoxy that his account covers subjunctive conditionals as well—including counterfactuals. In light of this observation, we argue that Ramsey’s account of conditionals resembles Robert Stalnaker’s possible worlds semantics supplemented by a model of belief. The resemblance suggests to reinterpret the notion of conditional degree of belief in order to overcome a (...)
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  35. Getting Counterfactuals Right: The Perspective of the Causal Reasoner.Elena Popa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    This paper aims to bridge philosophical and psychological research on causation, counterfactual thought, and the problem of backtracking. Counterfactual approaches to causation such as that by Lewis have ruled out backtracking, while on prominent models of causal inference interventionist counterfactuals do not backtrack. However, on various formal models, certain backtracking counterfactuals end up being true, and psychological evidence shows that people do sometimes backtrack when answering counterfactual questions in causal contexts. On the basis of psychological research, I argue that while (...)
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  36. Counterfactuals and modality.Gabriel Greenberg - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (6):1255-1280.
    This essay calls attention to a set of linguistic interactions between counterfactual conditionals, on one hand, and possibility modals like could have and might have, on the other. These data present a challenge to the popular variably strict semantics for counterfactual conditionals. Instead, they support a version of the strict conditional semantics in which counterfactuals and possibility modals share a unified quantificational domain. I’ll argue that pragmatic explanations of this evidence are not available to the variable analysis. And putative counterexamples (...)
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  37. Counterfactuals for causal responsibility in legal contexts.Holger Andreas, Matthias Armgardt & Mario Gunther - forthcoming - Artificial Intelligence and Law:1-18.
    We define a formal semantics of conditionals based on normatively ideal worlds. Such worlds are described informally by Armgardt Natural arguments: a tribute to john woods, College Publications, London, pp 699–708, 2018) to address well-known problems of the counterfactual approach to causation. Drawing on Armgardt’s proposal, we use iterated conditionals in order to analyse causal relations in scenarios of multi-agent interaction. This results in a refined counterfactual approach to causal responsibility in legal contexts, which solves overdetermination problems in an intuitively (...)
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  38. Why Do the Laws Support Counterfactuals?Chris Dorst - 2020 - Annalen der Philosophie 87 (2):545-566.
    This paper aims to explain why the laws of nature are held fixed in counterfactual reasoning. I begin by highlighting three salient features of counterfactual reasoning: it is conservative, nomically guided, and it uses hindsight. I then present a rationale for our engagement in counterfactual reasoning that aims to make sense of these features. In particular, I argue that counterfactual reasoning helps us evaluate the evidential relations between unanticipated pieces of evidence and various hypotheses of interest about the history of (...)
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  39. ‘A Formula Which I Derived Many Years Ago’ Boole, Reichenbach and Popper on Probability and Conditionals.Hans Rott - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of Logic:1-8.
    This note presents a very brief history of the observation that the probability of the material conditional A⊃B is in general different from, but cannot be less than, the conditional probability of...
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  40. Revealing the Counterfactuals: Molinism, Stubbornness, and Deception.Matyáš Moravec - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-18.
    This paper argues that the possibility of revealing counterfactuals of creaturely freedom to agents in possible worlds forming part of God’s natural knowledge poses a new problem for Molinism. This problem best comes to light when considering the phenomenon of stubbornness, i.e., the conscious refusal of fulfilling the providential plan revealed to and intended for us by another agent. The reason why this problem has gone unnoticed is that the usual instances of prophecy dealt with by Molinists (especially the story (...)
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  41. Conditional Logics Accommodating Stalnaker's Thesis.Andrew Bacon - manuscript
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  42. Indicative Conditionals and Epistemic Luminosity.Matt Hewson & James Ravi Kirkpatrick - 2022 - Mind 131 (521):231–258.
    Kevin Dorst has recently pointed out an apparently puzzling consequence of denying epistemic luminosity: given some natural-sounding bridging principles between knowledge, credence, and indicative conditionals, the denial of epistemic luminosity licenses the knowledge and assertability of abominable-sounding conditionals of the form ⌜If I don’t know that ϕ, then ϕ⌝. We provide a general and systematic examination of this datum by testing Dorst’s claim against various semantics for the indicative conditional in the setting of epistemic logic. Our conclusion is that, regardless (...)
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  43. Morgenbesser’s Coin.Yael Loewenstein - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):317-328.
    Before a fair, indeterministic coin is tossed, Lucky, who is causally isolated from the coin-tossing mechanism, declines to bet on heads. The coin lands heads. The consensus is that the following counterfactual is true: (M:) If Lucky had bet heads, he would have won the bet. It is also widely believed that to rule (M) true, any plausible semantics for counterfactuals must invoke causal independence. But if that’s so, the hope of giving a reductive analysis of causation in terms of (...)
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  44. Counterfactuals in Historiography.Zenonas Norkus - 1998 - Problemos 53.
    The article exposes the theories of the counterfactuals in analytical philosophy and discusses the conditions of assertability of counterfactuals in historiography. The conviction of some historians that the counterfactuals are essentially forbidden in the scientific historiography is critised on the ground that counterfactuals are implied by the causal statements and statements of the relative causal importance. The admission is made that the traditional historiography lacks adequate conceptual infrastructure for the detailed analysis of the objectively possible historical alternatives because its only (...)
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  45. Laws and Other Worlds: A Humean Account of Laws and Counterfactuals.Fred Wilson - 1986 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
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  46. Generalized Probabilistic Modus Ponens.Giuseppe Sanfilippo, Niki Pfeifer & Angelo Gilio - 2017 - In A. Antonucci, L. Cholvy & O. Papini (eds.), Symbolic and Quantitative Approaches to Reasoning with Uncertainty (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, vol. 10369). Cham, Switzerland: pp. 480-490.
    Modus ponens (from A and “if A then C” infer C) is one of the most basic inference rules. The probabilistic modus ponens allows for managing uncertainty by transmitting assigned uncertainties from the premises to the conclusion (i.e., from P(A) and P(C|A) infer P(C)). In this paper, we generalize the probabilistic modus ponens by replacing A by the conditional event A|H. The resulting inference rule involves iterated conditionals (formalized by conditional random quantities) and propagates previsions from the premises to the (...)
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  47. Counterfactuals, Indicative Conditionals, and Negation Under Uncertainty: Are There Cross-Cultural Differences?Niki Pfeifer & H. Yama - 2017 - In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink & E. Davelaar (eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Cognitive Science Society Meeting. pp. 2882-2887.
    In this paper we study selected argument forms involving counterfactuals and indicative conditionals under uncertainty. We selected argument forms to explore whether people with an Eastern cultural background reason differently about conditionals compared to Westerners, because of the differences in the location of negations. In a 2x2 between-participants design, 63 Japanese university students were allocated to four groups, crossing indicative conditionals and counterfactuals, and each presented in two random task orders. The data show close agreement between the responses of Easterners (...)
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  48. Probabilistic Entailment and Iterated Conditionals.A. Gilio, Niki Pfeifer & Giuseppe Sanfilippo - 2020 - In S. Elqayam, Igor Douven, J. St B. T. Evans & N. Cruz (eds.), Logic and uncertainty in the human mind: a tribute to David E. Over. London, UK: pp. 71-101.
    In this paper we exploit the notions of conjoined and iterated conditionals, which are defined in the setting of coherence by means of suitable conditional random quantities with values in the interval [0,1]. We examine the iterated conditional (B|K)|(A|H), by showing that A|H p-entails B|K if and only if (B|K)|(A|H) = 1. Then, we show that a p-consistent family F={E1|H1, E2|H2} p-entails a conditional event E3|H3 if and only if E3|H3= 1, or (E3|H3)|QC(S) = 1 for some nonempty subset S (...)
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  49. Living in a Material World: A Critical Notice of Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals by Timothy Williamson.Daniel Rothschild - forthcoming - Mind:fzab049.
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  50. Probabilities of Conditionals and Previsions of Iterated Conditionals.Giuseppe Sanfilippo, Angelo Gilio, David E. Over & Niki Pfeifer - 2020 - International Journal of Approximate Reasoning 121.
    We analyze selected iterated conditionals in the framework of conditional random quantities. We point out that it is instructive to examine Lewis's triviality result, which shows the conditions a conditional must satisfy for its probability to be the conditional probability. In our approach, however, we avoid triviality because the import-export principle is invalid. We then analyze an example of reasoning under partial knowledge where, given a conditional if A then Cas information, the probability of A should intuitively increase. We explain (...)
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