Every Proposition is a Counterfactual

Acta Analytica 31 (2):117-137 (2016)
Charles B. Cross
University of Georgia
I present and discuss two logical results. The first shows that a non-trivial counterfactual analysis exists for any contingent proposition that is false in at least two possible worlds. The second result identifies a set of conditions that are individually necessary and jointly sufficient for the success of a counterfactual analysis. I use these results to shed light on the question whether disposition ascribing propositions can be analyzed as Stalnaker-Lewis conditional propositions. The answer is that they can, but, in order for a counterfactual analysis to work, the antecedent and consequent must be related in a particular way, and David Lewis’s Time’s Arrow constraints on comparative world similarity must be relaxed. The upshot is that counterfactual analyses are easy to come by, in principle, even if not in practice. In that sense, it’s easy to be iffy.
Keywords Counterfactuals  Dispositions  Propositions  Time’s arrow  Conditional analysis
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-015-0268-6
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References found in this work BETA

Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Finkish Dispositions.David Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.
Dispositions and Conditionals.C. B. Martin - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (174):1-8.
Dispositions and Habituals.Michael Fara - 2005 - Noûs 39 (1):43–82.

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