Counterfactuals with true components

Erkenntnis 46 (1):79-85 (1997)
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Abstract

One criticism of David Lewis's account of counterfactuals is that it sometimes assigns the wrong truth-value to a counterfactual when both antecedent and consequent happen to be true. Lewis has suggested a possible remedy to this situation, but commentators have found this to be unsatisfactory. I suggest an alternative solution which involves a modification of Lewis's truth conditions, but which confines itself to the resources already present in his account. This modification involves the device of embedding one counterfactual within another. On the revised set of truth conditions, counterfactuals with true components are sometimes true and sometimes false, in a way that is more in keeping with our intuitive judgments about such statements.

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Citations of this work

Interventionist Counterfactuals.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.
An Argument for Conjunction Conditionalization.Lee Walters & Robert Williams - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):573-588.
Possible World Semantics and True-True Counterfactuals.Lee Walters - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):322-346.
Warrant Without Truth?E. J. Coffman - 2008 - Synthese 162 (2):173-194.

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References found in this work

Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1974 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 36 (3):602-605.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.
Counterfactuals and Comparative Possibility.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):418-446.

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