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  1. Hypothetical Interventions and Belief Changes.Holger Andreas & Lorenzo Casini - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):681-704.
    According to Woodward’s influential account of explanation, explanations have a counterfactual structure, and explanatory counterfactuals are analysed in terms of causal relations and interventions. In this paper, we provide a formal semantics of explanatory counterfactuals based on a Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals. Like Woodward’s account, our account is guided by causal considerations. Unlike Woodward’s account, it makes no reference to causal graphs and it also covers cases of explanation where interventions are impossible.
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  • The Counterfactual Direct Argument.Simon Goldstein - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-40.
    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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  • Knowing What Things Look Like.Matthew McGrath - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):1-41.
    Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I know they are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on my office desk, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might suggest that the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the (...)
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  • Mental Causation Via Neuroprosthetics? A Critical Analysis.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2018 - Synthese (12):5159-5174.
    Some recent arguments defending the genuine causal efficacy of the mental have been relying on empirical research on neuroprosthetics. This essay presents a critical analysis of these arguments. The problem of mental causation, and the basic idea and results of neuroprosthetics are reviewed. It is shown how appealing to the research on neuroprosthetics can be interpreted to give support to the idea of mental causation. However, it does so only in a rather deflationary sense: by holding the mental identical with (...)
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • A Theory of Structural Determination.J. Dmitri Gallow - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):159-186.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct structural equations model. I then offer an alternate (...)
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  • HYPE: A System of Hyperintensional Logic.Hannes Leitgeb - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 48 (2):305-405.
    This article introduces, studies, and applies a new system of logic which is called ‘HYPE’. In HYPE, formulas are evaluated at states that may exhibit truth value gaps and truth value gluts. Simple and natural semantic rules for negation and the conditional operator are formulated based on an incompatibility relation and a partial fusion operation on states. The semantics is worked out in formal and philosophical detail, and a sound and complete axiomatization is provided both for the propositional and the (...)
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  • Two Switches in the Theory of Counterfactuals: A Study of Truth Conditionality and Minimal Change.Ivano Ciardelli, Linmin Zhang & Lucas Champollion - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy (6).
    Based on a crowdsourced truth value judgment experiment, we provide empirical evidence challenging two classical views in semantics, and we develop a novel account of counterfactuals that combines ideas from inquisitive semantics and causal reasoning. First, we show that two truth-conditionally equivalent clauses can make different semantic contributions when embedded in a counterfactual antecedent. Assuming compositionality, this means that the meaning of these clauses is not fully determined by their truth conditions. This finding has a clear explanation in inquisitive semantics: (...)
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  • A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.
    A uniform theory of conditionals is one which compositionally captures the behavior of both indicative and subjunctive conditionals without positing ambiguities. This paper raises new problems for the closest thing to a uniform analysis in the literature (Stalnaker, Philosophia, 5, 269–286 (1975)) and develops a new theory which solves them. I also show that this new analysis provides an improved treatment of three phenomena (the import-export equivalence, reverse Sobel-sequences and disjunctive antecedents). While these results concern central issues in the study (...)
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  • What Should I Believe About What Would Have Been the Case?Franz Huber - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):81-110.
    The question I am addressing in this paper is the following: how is it possible to empirically test, or confirm, counterfactuals? After motivating this question in Section 1, I will look at two approaches to counterfactuals, and at how counterfactuals can be empirically tested, or confirmed, if at all, on these accounts in Section 2. I will then digress into the philosophy of probability in Section 3. The reason for this digression is that I want to use the way observable (...)
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  • A Counterexample to Modus Ponenses.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    McGee (1985) argued that modus ponens was invalid for the natural language conditional ‘If. . . then. . . ’. Many subsequent responses have argued that, while McGee’s examples show that modus ponens fails to preserve truth, they do not show that modus ponens fails to preserve rational full acceptance, and thus modus ponens may still be valid in the latter informational sense. I show that when we turn our attention from indicative conditionals (the focus of most of the literature (...)
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  • Backtracking Counterfactuals Revisited.Justin Khoo - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):841-910.
    I discuss three observations about backtracking counterfactuals not predicted by existing theories, and then motivate a theory of counterfactuals that does predict them. On my theory, counterfactuals quantify over a suitably restricted set of historical possibilities from some contextually relevant past time. I motivate each feature of the theory relevant to predicting our three observations about backtracking counterfactuals. The paper concludes with replies to three potential objections.
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  • Conditional Heresies.Fabrizio Cariani & Simon Goldstein - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  • A Peculiarity in Pearl’s Logic of Interventionist Counterfactuals.Jiji Zhang, Wai-Yin Lam & Rafael De Clercq - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 42 (5):783-794.
    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, (...)
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  • Metaphysical Causation.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Noûs:723-751.
    There is a systematic and suggestive analogy between grounding and causation. In my view, this analogy is no coincidence. Grounding and causation are alike because grounding is a type of causation: metaphysical causation. In this paper I defend the identification of grounding with metaphysical causation, drawing on the causation literature to explore systematic connections between grounding and metaphysical dependence counterfactuals, and I outline a non-reductive counterfactual theory of grounding along interventionist lines.
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  • Grounding Entails Counterpossible Non‐Triviality.Alastair Wilson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):716-728.
    This paper outlines a non-reductive counterfactual account of grounding along interventionist lines, and uses the account to argue that taking grounding seriously requires ascribing non-trivial truth-conditions to a range of counterpossible counterfactuals. This result allows for a diagnosis of a route to scepticism about grounding, as deriving at least in part from scepticism about non-trivial counterpossible truth and falsity.
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  • A Model-Invariant Theory of Causation.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    I provide a theory of causation within the causal modeling framework. In contrast to most of its predecessors, this theory is model-invariant in the following sense: if the theory says that C caused (didn't cause) E in a causal model, M, then it will continue to say that C caused (didn't cause) E once we've removed an inessential variable from M. I suggest that, if this theory is true, then we should understand a cause as something which transmits deviant or (...)
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  • Counterpossibles in Science: The Case of Relative Computability.Matthias Jenny - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):530-560.
    I develop a theory of counterfactuals about relative computability, i.e. counterfactuals such as 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then the halting problem would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is true, and 'If the validity problem were algorithmically decidable, then arithmetical truth would also be algorithmically decidable,' which is false. These counterfactuals are counterpossibles, i.e. they have metaphysically impossible antecedents. They thus pose a challenge to the orthodoxy about counterfactuals, which would treat them as uniformly true. What’s more, I (...)
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  • Causal Explanatory Power.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1029-1050.
    Schupbach and Sprenger introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in (...)
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  • Meaning and Modularity: The Multivalence of “Mechanism” in Sociological Explanation.Carly R. Knight & Isaac Ariail Reed - 2019 - Sociological Theory 37 (3):234-256.
    Mechanisms are ubiquitous in sociological explanation. Recent theoretical work has sought to extend mechanistic explanation further still: into cultural and interpretative analysis. Yet it is not clear that the concept of mechanism can coherently unify interpretation and causal explanation within a single explanatory framework. We note that sociological mechanistic explanation is marked by a crucial disjuncture. Specifically, we identify two conflicting mechanistic approaches: Modular mechanism models depict counterfactual dependence among independent causal chains, whereas meaningful mechanism models depict relational interdependence among (...)
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  • Conditionals.R. A. Briggs - 2019 - In Richard Pettigrew & Jonathan Weisberg (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology. PhilPapers Foundation. pp. 543-590.
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  • Interventionist Explanation and the Problem of Single Variable Boundary Constraints.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • The Exclusion Problem and Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Yee Hang Sze - unknown
    Jaegwon Kim famously challenged non-reductive materialism/physicalism, a popular stance in the philosophy of mind, with the so-called exclusion argument. The argument is alleged to show that if NRM is true, then mental properties cannot be causes. In recent years, there have been many reactions to the exclusion problem based on counterfactual accounts of causation. In particular, List and Menzies gave an interesting response based on a Lewis-style counterfactual theory of causation, with some modifications made to Lewis’s semantics of counterfactuals. In (...)
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  • Conditionals and Curry.Daniel Nolan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2629-2647.
    Curry's paradox for "if.. then.." concerns the paradoxical features of sentences of the form "If this very sentence is true, then 2+2=5". Standard inference principles lead us to the conclusion that such conditionals have true consequents: so, for example, 2+2=5 after all. There has been a lot of technical work done on formal options for blocking Curry paradoxes while only compromising a little on the various central principles of logic and meaning that are under threat. -/- Once we have a (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Structural Equations and Beyond.Franz Huber - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):709-732.
    Recent accounts of actual causation are stated in terms of extended causal models. These extended causal models contain two elements representing two seemingly distinct modalities. The first element are structural equations which represent the or mechanisms of the model, just as ordinary causal models do. The second element are ranking functions which represent normality or typicality. The aim of this paper is to show that these two modalities can be unified. I do so by formulating two constraints under which extended (...)
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  • Causal Explanation in Psychiatry.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - In Şerife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • The Future, and What Might Have Been.Graeme A. Forbes & R. A. Briggs - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):505-532.
    We show that five important elements of the ‘nomological package’— laws, counterfactuals, chances, dispositions, and counterfactuals—needn’t be a problem for the Growing-Block view. We begin with the framework given in Briggs and Forbes (in The real truth about the unreal future. Oxford studies in metaphysics. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012 ), and, taking laws as primitive, we show that the Growing-Block view has the resources to provide an account of possibility, and a natural semantics for non-backtracking causal counterfactuals. We show (...)
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  • Fatalism and the Logic of Unconditionals.Justin Bledin - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Compact Representations of Extended Causal Models.Joseph Y. Halpern & Christopher Hitchcock - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):986-1010.
    Judea Pearl (2000) was the first to propose a definition of actual causation using causal models. A number of authors have suggested that an adequate account of actual causation must appeal not only to causal structure but also to considerations of normality. In Halpern and Hitchcock (2011), we offer a definition of actual causation using extended causal models, which include information about both causal structure and normality. Extended causal models are potentially very complex. In this study, we show how it (...)
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  • Benardete’s Paradox and the Logic of Counterfactuals.Michael Caie - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):22-34.
    I consider a puzzling case presented by Jose Benardete, and by appeal to this case develop a paradox involving counterfactual conditionals. I then show that this paradox may be leveraged to argue for certain non-obvious claims concerning the logic of counterfactuals.
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  • Stakes Sensitivity and Transformative Experience.Rachel Elizabeth Fraser - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):34-39.
    I trace the relationship between the view that knowledge is stakes sensitive and Laurie Paul’s account of the epistemology of transformative experience. The view that knowledge is stakes sensitive comes in different flavours: one can go for subjective or objective conceptions of stakes, where subjective views of stakes take stakes to be a function of an agent’s non-factive mental states, and objective views of stakes do not. I argue that there is a tension between subjective accounts of stakes sensitivity and (...)
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  • Causal Explanatory Power.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy012.
    Schupbach and Sprenger introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in (...)
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  • The Similarity of Causal Structure.Benjamin Eva, Reuben Stern & Stephan Hartmann - unknown
    Does y obtain under the counterfactual supposition that x? The answer to this question is famously thought to depend on whether y obtains in the most similar world in which x obtains. What this notion of ‘similarity’ consists in is controversial, but in recent years, graphical causal models have proved incredibly useful in getting a handle on considerations of similarity between worlds. One limitation of the resulting conception of similarity is that it says nothing about what would obtain were the (...)
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  • Axiomatization in the Meaning Sciences.Wesley H. Holliday & Thomas Icard - 2018 - In Derek Ball & Brian Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning: Essays on the Metatheory of Natural Language Semantics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 73-97.
    While much of semantic theorizing is based on intuitions about logical phenomena associated with linguistic constructions—phenomena such as consistency and entailment—it is rare to see axiomatic treatments of linguistic fragments. Given a fragment interpreted in some class of formally specified models, it is often possible to ask for a characterization of the reasoning patterns validated by the class of models. Axiomatizations provide such a characterization, often in a perspicuous and efficient manner. In this paper, we highlight some of the benefits (...)
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  • On the Substitution of Identicals in Counterfactual Reasoning.Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Noûs:1-32.
    It is widely held that counterfactuals, unlike attitude ascriptions, preserve the referential transparency of their constituents, i.e., that counterfactuals validate the substitution of identicals when their constituents do. The only putative counterexamples in the literature come from counterpossibles, i.e., counterfactuals with impossible antecedents. Advocates of counterpossibilism, i.e., the view that counterpossibles are not all vacuous, argue that counterpossibles can generate referential opacity. But in order to explain why most substitution inferences into counterfactuals seem valid, counterpossibilists also often maintain that counterfactuals (...)
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  • Lowe's Argument Against the Psychoneural Token Identity Thesis.Katarzyna Paprzycka - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3):372-396.
    E. J. Lowe argues that the mental event token cannot be identical to the complex neural event token for they have different counterfactual properties. If the mental event had not occurred, the behavior would not have ensued, while if the neural event had not occurred, the behavior would have ensued albeit slightly differently. Lowe's argument for the neural counterfactual relies on standard possible world semantics, whose evaluation of such counterfactuals is problematic. His argument for the mental counterfactual relies on a (...)
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  • Permission and Possible Worlds.Kit Fine - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (3):317-336.
    I attempt to argue that if statements of permission are to serve as a guide to action then no possible worlds account of their truth-conditions can be correct.
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