Inference in imagination and counterfactual conditionals

I propose an explanation for reasoning about counterfactual conditionals. We reason properly to a counterfactual if A, C, when we imagine A along with cotenable background conditions, then properly infer C. Proper inference in my sense is just the same sort of inference that is proper in cases of theoretical reasoning with beliefs. (Roughly: a proper inference is warrant-transferring from belief in A and the background conditions to C.) Cotenability for counterfactuals is explained by reference to our abilities to attribute beliefs to others, given sincere testimony. (Roughly: p is cotenable with A just in case it would be reasonable to attribute the belief that p to a person who sincerely asserted A, in the conversational context.) I close with a proposal for the semantics of counterfactual conditionals. To assert the counterfactual is merely to claim that (the conditions are such that) there is an available inference from the antecedent, with the cotenable conditions, to the consequent.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,878
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature