Noûs 50 (2):286-313 (2016)

Authors
Karen S. Lewis
Barnard College
Abstract
I offer a novel solution to the problem of counterfactual skepticism: the worry that all contingent counterfactuals without explicit probabilities in the consequent are false. I argue that a specific kind of contextualist semantics and pragmatics for would- and might-counterfactuals can block both central routes to counterfactual skepticism. One, it can explain the clash between would- and might-counterfactuals as in: If you had dropped that vase, it would have broken. and If you had dropped that vase, it might have safely quantum tunneled to China. Two, it can explain why counterfactuals like can be true despite the fact that quantum tunneling worlds are among the most similar worlds. I further argue that this brand of contextualism accounts for the data better than other existing solutions to the problem.
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Reprint years 2015, 2016
DOI 10.1111/nous.12085
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Elusive Knowledge.David K. Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Ignorance: A Case for Scepticism.Peter Unger - 1975 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Disposition Ascriptions.Simona Aimar - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1667-1692.
Contra counterfactism.Alan Hájek - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.

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