On the plurality of counterfactuals

Abstract

Counterfactuals are context-sensitive. However, we argue that various debates and doctrines in metaphysics and the philosophy of science are premised on ignoring the full extent of counterfactual context-sensitivity. Our focus is on the prominent "miracle" versus "no-miracle" debate about counterfactuals under the assumption that our laws of nature are deterministic. But we also discuss doctrines that employ counterfactuals in theories of rational decision, as well as doctrines that explain what it is to be a law of nature in terms of counterfactuals. We conclude by drawing some morals about the use of counterfactuals in philosophical theorizing more generally.

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Author Profiles

Ben Holguín
Johns Hopkins University
Trevor Teitel
University of Toronto, St. George Campus

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References found in this work

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Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
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On what grounds what.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In Ryan Wasserman, David Manley & David Chalmers (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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