Counteridenticals

The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369 (2018)

Authors
Alexander W. Kocurek
Cornell University
Abstract
A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a hyperintensional semantics that accommodates non-trivial counterpossibles. In this paper, I argue that none of these approaches can account for all the peculiar features of counteridenticals. Instead, I propose a modified version of Lewis’s counterpart theory, which rejects the necessity of identity, and show that it can explain all the peculiar features of counteridenticals in a satisfactory way. I conclude by defending the plausibility of contingent identity from objections.
Keywords counterfactuals  identity  contingent identity  counterpart theory  Lewis  hyperintensionality  counterpossibles  attitude reports
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1215/00318108-6718783
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References found in this work BETA

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Names Are Predicates.Delia Graff Fara - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (1):59-117.
Counterfactuals.D. Lewis - 1973 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):403-405.

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