Statistical Mechanics and the Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence

Philosophy of Science 68 (S1):S313- (2001)
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: one that teaches us something about the connection between the asymmetry of overdetermination and the asymmetry of entropy
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DOI 10.1086/392918
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N. Hall (2007). Structural Equations and Causation. Philosophical Studies 132 (1):109 - 136.
Rachael Briggs (2012). Interventionist Counterfactuals. Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.
John Earman & Giovanni Valente (2014). Relativistic Causality in Algebraic Quantum Field Theory. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):1-48.

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