Causal models provide a framework for making counterfactual predictions, making them useful for evaluating the truth conditions of counterfactual sentences. However, current causal models for counterfactual semantics face limitations compared to the alternative similarity-based approach: they only apply to a limited subset of counterfactuals and the connection to counterfactual logic is not straightforward. This paper argues that these limitations arise from the theory of interventions where intervening on variables requires changing structural equations rather than the values of variables. Using an alternative theory of exogenous interventions, this paper extends the causal approach to counterfactuals to handle more complex counterfactuals, including backtracking counterfactuals and those with logically complex antecedents. The theory also validates familiar principles of counterfactual logic and offers an explanation for counterfactual disagreement and backtracking readings of forward counterfactuals.
Keywords Causal Models  Counterfactuals  Conditional Logic  Backtracking
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Lewisian Logic of Causal Counterfactuals.Jiji Zhang - 2013 - Minds and Machines 23 (1):77-93.
An Informational Theory of Counterfactuals.Danilo Dantas - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):525-538.
Interventionist Counterfactuals.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.
Two Causal Theories of Counterfactual Conditionals.Lance J. Rips - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (2):175-221.
Of Miracles and Interventions.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64.
Structural Counterfactuals: A Brief Introduction.Judea Pearl - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):977-985.
Counterfactuals and Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):41 – 72.


Added to PP index

Total views
250 ( #43,144 of 2,498,211 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
60 ( #13,353 of 2,498,211 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes