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  1. added 2020-05-17
    Against Conventional Wisdom.Alexander W. Kocurek, Ethan Jerzak & Rachel Etta Rudolph - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally (...)
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  2. added 2020-02-28
    Presupposing Counterfactuality.Julia Zakkou - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    There is long standing agreement both among philosophers and linguists that the term ‘counterfactual conditional’ is misleading if not a misnomer. Speakers of both non-past subjunctive (or ‘would’) conditionals and past subjunctive (or ‘would have’) conditionals need not convey counterfactuality. The relationship between the conditionals in question and the counterfactuality of their antecedents is thus not one of presupposing. It is one of conversationally implicating. This paper provides a thorough examination of the arguments against the presupposition view as applied to (...)
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  3. added 2020-02-17
    The counterfactual direct argument.Simon Goldstein - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):193-232.
    Many have accepted that ordinary counterfactuals and might counterfactuals are duals. In this paper, I show that this thesis leads to paradoxical results when combined with a few different unorthodox yet increasingly popular theses, including the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Given Duality and several other theses, we can quickly infer the validity of another paradoxical principle, ‘The Counterfactual Direct Argument’, which says that ‘A> ’ entails ‘A> ’. First, I provide a collapse theorem for the ‘counterfactual direct argument’. (...)
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  4. added 2020-02-10
    Hiddleston’s Causal Modeling Semantics and the Distinction Between Forward-Tracking and Backtracking Counterfactuals.Kok Yong Lee - 2017 - Studies in Logic 10 (1):79-94.
    Some cases show that counterfactual conditionals (‘counterfactuals’ for short) are inherently ambiguous, equivocating between forward-tracking and backtracking counterfactu- als. Elsewhere, I have proposed a causal modeling semantics, which takes this phenomenon to be generated by two kinds of causal manipulations. (Lee 2015; Lee 2016) In an important paper (Hiddleston 2005), Eric Hiddleston offers a different causal modeling semantics, which he claims to be able to explain away the inherent ambiguity of counterfactuals. In this paper, I discuss these two semantic treatments (...)
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  5. added 2020-01-30
    Subjunctive Conditionals Are Material.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    The material account claims that indicative conditionals are material. However, the conventional wisdom even among material account enthusiasts is that the material account cannot be extended to subjunctive conditionals. There are mainly three reasons that motivate this consensus: (1) the belief that if subjunctives were material, most subjunctive conditionals would be vacuously true, which is implausible; (2) its inconsistency with Adam pairs, which suggest that indicative and subjunctive conditionals have different truth conditions; and (3) the belief that it is an (...)
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  6. added 2020-01-30
    In Defense of Hypothetical Syllogism.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    Moti Mizrahi (2013) presented a putative counterexample to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals aiming to succeed where previous attempts to refute HS have failed. Lee Walters (2014a) objected that Mizrahi’s putative counterexample results from an inadequate analysis of conditionals with embedded modals, but advanced new putative counterexamples to HS for subjunctive conditionals that are supposed to bypass this issue (Walters, 2014a; 2014b). It is argued that Walter’s analysis of embedded modals is unnecessary to prevent Mizrahi’s putative counterexample, since the (...)
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  7. added 2019-10-16
    How Strong is a Counterfactual?David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    There are two leading theories about the meaning of counterfactuals, the Variably Strict Analysis (VSA) and the Strict Analysis (SA). Perhaps most famously, VSA and SA disagree about a principle known as Antecedent Strengtheing: SA validates the principle; VSA does not. Early VSA theorists believed that certain apparent counterexamples to Antecedent Strengthening— now known as Sobel Sequences—refuted SA. More recently, defenders of SA have enriched SA with certain dynamic principles governing how context evolves and argued that Sobel sequences are not (...)
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  8. added 2019-09-04
    Counterfactual Double Lives.Michael Deigan - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium:215--224.
    Expressions typically thought to be rigid designators can refer to distinct individuals in the consequents of counterfactuals. This occurs in counteridenticals, such as “If I were you, I would arrest me”, as well as more ordinary counterfactuals with clearly possible antecedents, like “If I were a police officer, I would arrest me”. I argue that in response we should drop rigidity and deal with de re modal predication using something more flexible, such as counterpart theory.
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  9. added 2019-06-07
    For the Sake of the Argument: Ramsey Test Conditionals, Inductive Inference, and Nonmonotonic Reasoning. [REVIEW]Michael Morreau - 1998 - Journal of Philosophy 95 (10):540-546.
  10. added 2019-06-06
    IV—Counterfactual Entailment.David Barnett - 2012 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 112 (1pt1):73-97.
    Counterfactual Entailment is the view that a counterfactual conditional is true just in case its antecedent entails its consequent. I present an argument for Counterfactual Entailment, and I develop a strategy for explaining away apparent counterexamples to the view. The strategy appeals to the suppositional view of counterfactuals, on which a counterfactual is essentially a statement, made relative to the supposition of its antecedent, of its consequent.
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    The Pragmatist’s Troubles with Bivalence and Counterfactuals.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2001 - Dialogue 40 (4):669-690.
    RÉSUMÉ: Je me demande ici si les conceptions pragmatiques de la vérité peuvent être réconciliées avec les intuitions ordinaires quant à la portée de la bivalence. Je soutiens que les pragmatistes sont conduits à accepter une distinction du genre «type/occurrence» entre les formes d’une investigation et ses instanciations particulières, sous peine de banaliser leur vérificationnisme. Néanmoins, même la conception révisée que j’examine échoue à sauver les approches épistémiques de la vérité de certaines conséquences peu plausibles.
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    "Subjunctive Reasoning" by John L. Pollock. [REVIEW]John Bigelow - 1980 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4:129.
    Subjunctives have always posed a severe threat to truth-conditional semantics and the correspondence theory of truth. If we are ever forced to fall into some sort of coherence theory of truth, then the problem of subjunctives is very likely to be the first thing which makes this plain. It is instructive to work through the details of Pollock's very thorough working-out of a kind of coherence theory for subjunctives.I find Pollock's book a kind of cautionary tale for coherence theorists. The (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-06
    VII.—Subjunctive Conditionals, Time Order, and Causation.P. B. Downing - 1958 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 59 (1):125-140.
  14. added 2019-06-06
    III.—A Relation of Counterfactual Conditionals to Statements of What Makes Sense.Jonathan Cohen - 1954 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55 (1):45-82.
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  15. added 2019-06-05
    Counterfactual Fallacies.Andrea Iacona - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    A widely accepted claim about counterfactuals is that they differ from strict conditionals, that is, there is no adequate representation of them as sentences of the form   . To justify this claim, Stalnaker and Lewis have argued that some fallacious inferences would turn out valid if counterfactuals were so represented. However, their argument has a flaw, as it rests on a questionable assumption about the relation between surface grammar and logical form. Without that assumption, no consequence of the (...)
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  16. added 2019-06-05
    Ifs: Conditionals, Belief, Decision, Chance, and Time. William L. Harper, Robert Stalnaker, Glenn Pearce.Donald Nute - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (3):518-520.
  17. added 2019-05-07
    Subjunctive Conditional Probability.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (1):47-66.
    There seem to be two ways of supposing a proposition: supposing “indicatively” that Shakespeare didn’t write Hamlet, it is likely that someone else did; supposing “subjunctively” that Shakespeare hadn’t written Hamlet, it is likely that nobody would have written the play. Let P be the probability of B on the subjunctive supposition that A. Is P equal to the probability of the corresponding counterfactual, A □→B? I review recent triviality arguments against this hypothesis and argue that they do not succeed. (...)
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  18. added 2019-03-12
    Strict Conditional Accounts of Counterfactuals.Cory Nichols - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):621-645.
    von Fintel and Gillies : 329–360, 2007) have proposed a dynamic strict conditional account of counterfactuals as an alternative to the standard variably strict account due to Stalnaker and Lewis. Von Fintel’s view is motivated largely by so-called reverse Sobel sequences, about which the standard view seems to make the wrong predictions. More recently Moss :561–586, 2012) has offered a pragmatic/epistemic explanation that purports to explain the data without requiring abandonment of the standard view. So far the small amount of (...)
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  19. added 2019-03-01
    Statistical Mechanics and the Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Adam Elga - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):313-324.
    In "Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow", David Lewis defends an analysis of counterfactuals intended to yield the asymmetry of counterfactual dependence: that later affairs depend counterfactually on earlier ones, and not the other way around. I argue that careful attention to the dynamical properties of thermodynamically irreversible processes shows that in many ordinary cases, Lewis's analysis fails to yield this asymmetry. Furthermore, the analysis fails in an instructive way: it teaches us something about the connection between the asymmetry of overdetermination (...)
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  20. added 2019-02-23
    Strictly Speaking.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger & Alexander Sandgren - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):3-11.
    A type of argument occasionally made in metaethics, epistemology and philosophy of science notes that most ordinary uses of some expression fail to satisfy the strictest interpretation of the expression, and concludes that the ordinary assertions are false. This requires there to be a presumption in favour of a strict interpretation of expressions that admit of interpretations at different levels of strictness. We argue that this presumption is unmotivated, and thus the arguments fail.
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  21. added 2019-02-07
    Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):298-325.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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  22. added 2018-03-29
    Circularities in the Analysis of Counterfactuals.Tor Sandqvist - 2003 - Studia Logica 73 (2):281-298.
    Expanding on a discussion by Hansson, this paper treats of Goodman's and Lewis' accounts of counterfactual conditionals, comparing the senses in which these theories may be accused of circularity. While I do maintain that in this respect Lewis has an edge over Goodman, the paper's aim is not so much to reach a firm conclusion as to disentangle some previously conflated aspects of the issue. It is also suggested that the importance of avoiding circularity may vary depending on the philosophical (...)
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  23. added 2018-02-16
    An Indexical Theory of Conditionals.Ken Warmbrōd - 1981 - Dialogue 20 (4):644-664.
    Language theorists have recently come to have an increasing appreciation for the fact that context contributes heavily in determining our interpretation of what is said. Indeed, it now seems clear that no complete understanding of a natural language is possible without some account of the way in which context affects our interpretation of discourse. In this paper, I will attempt to explore one facet of the language – context relationship, namely, the relation between conditionals and context. The first part of (...)
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  24. added 2017-12-25
    The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52.
    Some have argued for a division of epistemic labor in which mathematicians supply truths and philosophers supply their necessity. We argue that this is wrong: mathematics is committed to its own necessity. Counterfactuals play a starring role.
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  25. added 2017-11-08
    On Counterfactual Reasoning.Carl Erik Kühl - manuscript
    Counterfactual reasoning has always played a role in human life. We ask questions like, “Could it have been different?”, “Under which conditions might/would it have been different?”, “What would have happened if…?” If we don’t find an answer, i.e. what we accept as an answer, we may start reasoning. Reasoning means introducing still new information/assumptions, new questions, new answers to new questions etc. From a formal point of view, it may be compared with stepwise moving towards a destination in a (...)
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  26. added 2017-06-09
    Counterfactual Skepticism and Multidimensional Semantics.H. Stefánsson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):875-898.
    It has recently been argued that indeterminacy and indeterminism make most ordinary counterfactuals false. I argue that a plausible way to avoid such counterfactual skepticism is to postulate the existence of primitive modal facts that serve as truth-makers for counterfactual claims. Moreover, I defend a new theory of ‘might’ counterfactuals, and develop assertability and knowledge criteria to suit such unobservable ‘counterfacts’.
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  27. added 2017-06-04
    In Defense of Brogaard-Salerno Stricture.Matheus Silva - forthcoming - The Reasoner 11 (7).
    Brogaard and Salerno (2008) argued that counter-examples to contraposition, strengthening the antecedent, and hypothetical syllogism involving subjunctive conditionals only seem to work because they involve a contextual fallacy where the context assumed in the premise(s) is illicitly shifted in the conclusion. To avoid such counter-examples they have proposed that the context must remain fixed when evaluating an argument for validity. That is the Brogaard-Salerno Stricture. Tristan Haze (2016), however, has recently objected that intuitively valid argumentative forms such as conjunction introduction (...)
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  28. added 2017-05-12
    Was Quine Right About Subjunctive Conditionals?Adam Rieger - 2017 - The Monist 100 (2):180-193.
    Given his hostility to intensional locutions, it is not surprising that Quine was suspicious of the subjunctive conditional. Although he admitted its usefulness as a heuristic device, in order to introduce dispositional terms, he held that it had no place in a finished scientific theory. In this paper I argue in support of something like Quine’s position. Many contemporary philosophers are unreflectively realist about subjunctives, regarding them as having objective truth values. I contest this. “Moderate realist” theorists, such as Lewis (...)
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  29. added 2017-03-30
    The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Christian Loew - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):436-455.
    A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called “past hypothesis.” Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past (...)
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  30. added 2017-03-23
    Counterfactual Antecedent Falsity and the Epistemic Sensitivity of Counterfactuals.Brian Leahy - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):45-69.
    Why do utterances of counterfactual conditionals typically, but not universally, convey the message that their antecedents are false? I demonstrate that two common theoretical commitments–commitment to the existence of scalar implicature and of informative presupposition—can be supplemented with an independently motivated theory of the presuppositions of competing conditional alternatives to jointly predict this information when and only when it appears. The view works best if indicative and counterfactual conditionals have a closely related semantics, so I conclude by undermining two familiar (...)
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  31. added 2017-02-15
    Counterfactuals and Causal Relevance.Igal Kvart - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):314-337.
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  32. added 2017-02-14
    Counterfactual Thinking.Sarah R. Beck, KevinJ Riggs & Patrick Burns - 2011 - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck (eds.), Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 110.
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  33. added 2017-02-14
    Causal Asymmetry, Counterfactual Decisions and Entropy.Mathias Frisch - 2006 - In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan. pp. 72--5.
  34. added 2017-02-13
    About Þ Belief Þ Counterfactual.J. Perner - 2000 - In P. Mitchell & Kevin J. Riggs (eds.), Children's Reasoning and the Mind. Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis. pp. 367--400.
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  35. added 2017-02-11
    A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B.Hannes Leitgeb - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
    This is part B of a paper in which we defend a semantics for counterfactuals which is probabilistic in the sense that the truth condition for counterfactuals refers to a probability measure. Because of its probabilistic nature, it allows a counterfactual to be true even in the presence of relevant -worlds, as long such exceptions are not too widely spread. The semantics is made precise and studied in different versions which are related to each other by representation theorems. Despite its (...)
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  36. added 2017-02-11
    Precis of the Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality.Ruth Mj Byrne - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5):439-452.
    The human imagination remains one of the last uncharted terrains of the mind. People often imagine how events might have turned out something had been different. The of reality, those aspects more readily changed, indicate that counterfactual thoughts are guided by the same principles as rational thoughts. In the past, rationality and imagination have been viewed as opposites. But research has shown that rational thought is more imaginative than cognitive scientists had supposed. In The Rational Imagination, I argue that imaginative (...)
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  37. added 2017-02-11
    Thinking Developmentally About Counterfactual Possibilities.Kevin J. Riggs & Sarah R. Beck - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6):463-463.
    Byrne implies that working memory development underpins children's ability to represent counterfactuals as possibilities at 3 to 4 years of age. Recent findings suggest that (1) developments in the ability to consider alternatives to reality in children of this age are underpinned by improvements in inhibitory control, not working memory, and (2) children do not develop an understanding of counterfactuals as possibilities until mid-childhood.
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  38. added 2017-02-11
    Professor Halberstadt on Counterfactual Conditionals and Modality.J. De Greef - 1973 - International Logic Review 7:126.
    Following halberstadt ("int. log. rev." 1970, i) a counterfactual may be meaningless, the antecedent being syntactically faulty. the author thinks this to be pointless, since indicative and subjunctive mood may, in certain cases, present no apparent difference. halberstadt does not distinguish between subjunctive and counterfactual conditionals. the author thinks that this distinction is needed, and proposes a time factor as distinctive factor. so, the counterfactual 'i a had been the case, b would have happened' is expressible as 'if, at time (...)
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  39. added 2017-02-09
    Transformations of the Subjunctive.Karsten Harries - 1980 - Thought: Fordham University Quarterly 55 (3):283-294.
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  40. added 2017-02-09
    Obligation as Expressed by the Subjunctive.H. C. Nutting - 1899 - The Classical Review 13 (01):32-34.
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  41. added 2017-02-09
    A Negleoted Use of the Latin Subjunctive.H. C. Elmer - 1898 - The Classical Review 12 (04):199-205.
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  42. added 2017-02-09
    The Prospective Subjunctive and Optative.J. Donovan - 1894 - The Classical Review 8 (04):145-.
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  43. added 2017-02-09
    The Prospective Subjunctive.E. A. Sonnenschein - 1893 - The Classical Review 7 (1-2):7-11.
  44. added 2017-02-09
    The 'Prospective Subjunctive.'.W. R. Inge - 1893 - The Classical Review 7 (04):148-149.
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  45. added 2017-02-08
    Finding Meaning From Mutability: Making Sense and Deriving Significance Through Counterfactual Thinking.D. Galinsky Adam, A. Liljenquist Katie, L. Kray Laura & J. Roese Neal - 2005 - In David R. Mandel, Denis J. Hilton & Patrizia Catellani (eds.), The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking. Routledge.
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  46. added 2017-02-08
    When a Small Difference Makes a Big Difference: Counterfactual Thinking and Luck.Karl Halvor Teigen - 2005 - In David R. Mandel, Denis J. Hilton & Patrizia Catellani (eds.), The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking. Routledge.
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  47. added 2017-02-07
    Is Reasoning From Counterfactual Antecedents Evidence for Counterfactual Reasoning?Josef Perner & Eva Rafetseder - 2010 - Thinking and Reasoning 16 (2):131-155.
    In most developmental studies the only error children could make on counterfactual tasks was to answer with the current state of affairs. It was concluded that children who did not show this error are able to reason counterfactually. However, children might have avoided this error by using basic conditional reasoning (Rafetseder, Cristi-Vargas, & Perner, 2010). Basic conditional reasoning takes background assumptions represented as conditionals about how the world works. If an antecedent of one of these conditionals is provided by the (...)
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  48. added 2017-02-02
    Effect of Counterfactual and Factual Thinking on Causal Judgements.David R. Mandel - 2003 - Thinking and Reasoning 9 (3):245 – 265.
    The significance of counterfactual thinking in the causal judgement process has been emphasized for nearly two decades, yet no previous research has directly compared the relative effect of thinking counterfactually versus factually on causal judgement. Three experiments examined this comparison by manipulating the task frame used to focus participants' thinking about a target event. Prior to making judgements about causality, preventability, blame, and control, participants were directed to think about a target actor either in counterfactual terms (what the actor could (...)
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  49. added 2017-01-27
    The Effect of Controllability and Causality on Counterfactual Thinking.Caren A. Frosch, Suzanne M. Egan & Emily N. Hancock - 2015 - Thinking and Reasoning 21 (3):317-340.
    Previous research on counterfactual thoughts about prevention suggests that people tend to focus on enabling rather than causing events and controllable rather than uncontrollable events. Two experiments explore whether counterfactual thinking about enablers is distinct from counterfactual thinking about controllable events. We presented participants with scenarios in which a cause and an enabler contributed to a negative outcome. We systematically manipulated the controllability of the cause and the enabler and asked participants to generate counterfactuals. The results indicate that when only (...)
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  50. added 2017-01-25
    Counterfactuals and Tracking – A Reply to Smith.Lars Bo Gundersen - 2005 - SATS 6 (2):172-186.
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