Conditional predictions

Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (2):181 - 231 (2005)

Authors
Stefan Kaufmann
University of Connecticut
Abstract
The connection between the probabilities of conditionals and the corresponding conditional probabilities has long been explored in the philosophical literature, but its implementation faces both technical obstacles and objections on empirical grounds. In this paper I ?rst outline the motivation for the probabilistic turn and Lewis’ triviality results, which stand in the way of what would seem to be its most straightforward implementation. I then focus on Richard Jeffrey’s ’random-variable’ approach, which circumvents these problems by giving up the notion that conditionals denote propositions in the usual sense. Even so, however, the random-variable approach makes counterintuitive predictions in simple cases of embedded conditionals. I propose to address this problem by enriching the model with an explicit representation of causal dependencies. The addition of such causal information not only remedies the shortcomings of Jeffrey’s conditional, but also opens up the possibility of a uni?ed probabilistic account of indicative and counterfactual conditionals.
Keywords conditionals  counterfactuals  probability  causality
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-005-3731-9
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B.Hannes Leitgeb - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
Conditionals Right and Left: Probabilities for the Whole Family.Stefan Kaufmann - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 38 (1):1-53.
Conditionals, Indeterminacy, and Triviality.Justin Khoo - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):260-287.

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