Results for 'Counterfactual'

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  1.  78
    Counterfactual Attitudes and Multi-Centered Worlds.Dilip Ninan - 2012 - Semantics and Pragmatics 5 (5):1-57.
    Counterfactual attitudes like imagining, dreaming, and wishing create a problem for the standard formal semantic theory of de re attitude ascriptions. I show how the problem can be avoided if we represent an agent's attitudinal possibilities using "multi-centered worlds", possible worlds with multiple distinguished individuals, each of which represents an individual with whom the agent is acquainted. I then present a compositional semantics for de re ascriptions according to which singular terms are "assignment-sensitive" expressions and attitude verbs are "assignment (...)
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  2. An Improved Probabilistic Account of Counterfactual Reasoning.Christopher G. Lucas & Charles Kemp - 2015 - Psychological Review 122 (4):700-734.
    When people want to identify the causes of an event, assign credit or blame, or learn from their mistakes, they often reflect on how things could have gone differently. In this kind of reasoning, one considers a counterfactual world in which some events are different from their real-world counterparts and considers what else would have changed. Researchers have recently proposed several probabilistic models that aim to capture how people do (or should) reason about counterfactuals. We present a new model (...)
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  3.  27
    A Counterfactual Explanation for the Action Effect in Causal Judgment.Paul Henne, Laura Niemi, N. Ángel Pinillos, Felipe De Brigard & Joshua Knobe - forthcoming - Cognition.
    People’s causal judgments are susceptible to the action effect, whereby they judge actions to be more causal than inactions. We offer a new explanation for this effect, the counterfactual explanation: people judge actions to be more causal than inactions because they are more inclined to consider the counterfactual alternatives to actions than to consider counterfactual alternatives to inactions. Experiment 1a conceptually replicates the original action effect for causal judgments. Experiment 1b confirms a novel prediction of the new (...)
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  4.  64
    Influence of Outcome Valence in the Subjective Experience of Episodic Past, Future, and Counterfactual Thinking.Felipe De Brigard - 2012 - Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1085-1096.
    Recent findings suggest that our capacity to imagine the future depends on our capacity to remember the past. However, the extent to which episodic memory is involved in our capacity to think about what could have happened in our past, yet did not occur , remains largely unexplored. The current experiments investigate the phenomenological characteristics and the influence of outcome valence on the experience of past, future and counterfactual thoughts. Participants were asked to mentally simulate past, future, and (...) events with positive or negative outcomes. Features of their subjective experiences during each type of simulation were measured using questionnaires and autobiographical interviews. The results suggest that clarity and vividness were higher for past than future and counterfactual simulations. Additionally, emotional intensity was lower for counterfactual simulations than past and future simulations. Finally, outcome valence influenced participants’ judgment of probability for future and counterfactual simulations. (shrink)
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  5. Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow.Thomas Kroedel & Franz Huber - 2013 - Noûs 47 (3):453-466.
    We argue that a semantics for counterfactual conditionals in terms of comparative overall similarity faces a formal limitation due to Arrow’s impossibility theorem from social choice theory. According to Lewis’s account, the truth-conditions for counterfactual conditionals are given in terms of the comparative overall similarity between possible worlds, which is in turn determined by various aspects of similarity between possible worlds. We argue that a function from aspects of similarity to overall similarity should satisfy certain plausible constraints while (...)
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  6. Harm: The Counterfactual Comparative Account, the Omission and Pre-Emption Problems, and Well-Being.Tanya De Villiers-Botha - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):1-17.
    The concept of “harm” is ubiquitous in moral theorising, and yet remains poorly defined. Bradley suggests that the counterfactual comparative account of harm is the most plausible account currently available, but also argues that it is fatally flawed, since it falters on the omission and pre-emption problems. Hanna attempts to defend the counterfactual comparative account of harm against both problems. In this paper, I argue that Hanna’s defence fails. I also show how his defence highlights the fact that (...)
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  7. Counterfactual Attitudes and the Relational Analysis.Kyle Blumberg - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):521-546.
    In this paper, I raise a problem for standard precisifications of the Relational Analysis of attitude reports. The problem I raise involves counterfactual attitude verbs. such as ‘wish’. In short, the trouble is this: there are true attitude reports ‘ S wishes that P ’ but there is no suitable referent for the term ‘that P ’. The problematic reports illustrate that the content of a subject’s wish is intimately related to the content of their beliefs. I capture this (...)
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  8. Hume's Dictum and the Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Jessica M. Wilson - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press. pp. 258-279.
    Why believe Hume's Dictum, according to which there are, roughly speaking, no necessary connections between wholly distinct entities? Schaffer suggests that HD, at least as applied to causal or nomological connections, is motivated as required by the best account of of counterfactuals---namely, a similarity-based possible worlds account, where the operative notion of similarity requires 'miracles'---more specifically, worlds where entities of the same type that actually exist enter into different laws. The main cited motivations for such an account of similarity are (...)
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  9.  9
    The Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm and Reasons for Action and Preference: Reply to Carlson.Justin Klocksiem - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):673-677.
    The counterfactual comparative account of harm has emerged as the main contender in the recent literature on the nature of harm. But Erik Carlson argues that the account violates plausible normative principles connecting harm with our reasons to perform certain actions and to prefer certain outcomes. According to Carlson, the account implies that we have reason to perform actions and to prefer outcomes that we do not in fact possess. This paper defends the counterfactual comparative account from these (...)
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  10.  29
    Inference and Explanation in Counterfactual Reasoning.Lance J. Rips & Brian J. Edwards - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):1107-1135.
    This article reports results from two studies of how people answer counterfactual questions about simple machines. Participants learned about devices that have a specific configuration of components, and they answered questions of the form “If component X had not operated [failed], would component Y have operated?” The data from these studies indicate that participants were sensitive to the way in which the antecedent state is described—whether component X “had not operated” or “had failed.” Answers also depended on whether the (...)
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  11.  41
    Pre-Emption Cases May Support, Not Undermine, the Counterfactual Theory of Causation.Robert Northcott - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Pre-emption cases have been taken by almost everyone to imply the unviability of the simple counterfactual theory of causation. Yet there is ample motivation from scientific practice to endorse a simple version of the theory if we can. There is a way in which a simple counterfactual theory, at least if understood contrastively, can be supported even while acknowledging that intuition goes firmly against it in pre-emption cases – or rather, only in some of those cases. For I (...)
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  12. Counterfactual Theories of Knowledge and the Notion of Actuality.Jan Heylen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1647-1673.
    The central question of this article is how to combine counterfactual theories of knowledge with the notion of actuality. It is argued that the straightforward combination of these two elements leads to problems, viz. the problem of easy knowledge and the problem of missing knowledge. In other words, there is overgeneration of knowledge and there is undergeneration of knowledge. The combination of these problems cannot be solved by appealing to methods by which beliefs are formed. An alternative solution is (...)
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  13.  99
    Counterfactual Causation and Mental Causation.Jens Harbecke - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):363-385.
    Counterfactual conditionals have been appealed to in various ways to show how the mind can be causally efficacious. However, it has often been overestimated what the truth of certain counterfactuals actually indicates about causation. The paper first identifies four approaches that seem to commit precisely this mistake. The arguments discussed involve erroneous assumptions about the connection of counterfactual dependence and genuine causation, as well as a disregard of the requisite evaluation conditions of counterfactuals. In a second step, the (...)
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  14.  75
    Basic Conditional Reasoning: How Children Mimic Counterfactual Reasoning.Brian Leahy, Eva Rafetseder & Josef Perner - 2014 - Studia Logica 102 (4):793-810.
    Children approach counterfactual questions about stories with a reasoning strategy that falls short of adults’ Counterfactual Reasoning (CFR). It was dubbed “Basic Conditional Reasoning” (BCR) in Rafetseder et al. (Child Dev 81(1):376–389, 2010). In this paper we provide a characterisation of the differences between BCR and CFR using a distinction between permanent and nonpermanent features of stories and Lewis/Stalnaker counterfactual logic. The critical difference pertains to how consistency between a story and a conditional antecedent incompatible with a (...)
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  15.  20
    Counterfactual Plausibility and Comparative Similarity.L. Stanley Matthew, W. Stewart Gregory & Brigard Felipe De - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S5):1216-1228.
    Counterfactual thinking involves imagining hypothetical alternatives to reality. Philosopher David Lewis argued that people estimate the subjective plausibility that a counterfactual event might have occurred by comparing an imagined possible world in which the counterfactual statement is true against the current, actual world in which the counterfactual statement is false. Accordingly, counterfactuals considered to be true in possible worlds comparatively more similar to ours are judged as more plausible than counterfactuals deemed true in possible worlds comparatively (...)
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  16.  28
    A Defence of the Counterfactual Account of Harm.Craig Purshouse - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (4):251-259.
    In order to determine whether a particular course of conduct is ethically permissible it is important to have a concept of what it means to be harmed. The dominant theory of harm is the counterfactual account, most famously proposed by Joel Feinberg. This determines whether harm is caused by comparing what actually happened in a given situation with the ‘counterfacts’ i.e. what would have occurred had the putatively harmful conduct not taken place. If a person's interests are worse off (...)
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  17. Comparative Syllogism and Counterfactual Knowledge.Linton Wang & Wei-Fen Ma - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1327-1348.
    Comparative syllogism is a type of scientific reasoning widely used, explicitly or implicitly, for inferences from observations to conclusions about effectiveness, but its philosophical significance has not been fully elaborated or appreciated. In its simplest form, the comparative syllogism derives a conclusion about the effectiveness of a factor (e.g. a treatment or an exposure) on a certain property via an experiment design using a test (experimental) group and a comparison (control) group. Our objective is to show that the comparative syllogism (...)
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  18. Concrete Possible Worlds and Counterfactual Conditionals: Lewis Versus Williamson on Modal Knowledge.Andrea Sauchelli - 2010 - Synthese 176 (3):345-359.
    The epistemology of modality is gradually coming to play a central role in general discussions about modality. This paper is a contribution in this direction, in particular I draw a comparison between Lewis’s Modal realism and Timothy Williamson’s recent account of modality in terms of counterfactual thinking. In order to have criteria of evaluation, I also formulate four requirements which are supposed to be met by any theory of modality to be epistemologically adequate.
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  19.  6
    The Making of Might-Have-Beens: Effects of Free Will Belief on Counterfactual Thinking.Jessica L. Alquist, Sarah E. Ainsworth & Roy Baumesiter - 2014 - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 41 (2):268-283.
    Counterfactual thoughts are based on the assumption that one situation could result in multiple possible outcomes. This assumption underlies most theories of free will and contradicts deterministic views that there is only one possible outcome of any situation. Three studies tested the hypothesis that stronger belief in free will would lead to more counterfactual thinking. Experimental manipulations (Studies 1-2) and a measure (Studies 3-4) of belief in free will were linked to increased counterfactual thinking in response to (...)
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  20.  33
    Counterfactual Antecedent Falsity and the Epistemic Sensitivity of Counterfactuals.Brian Leahy - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):45-69.
    Why do utterances of counterfactual conditionals typically, but not universally, convey the message that their antecedents are false? I demonstrate that two common theoretical commitments–commitment to the existence of scalar implicature and of informative presupposition—can be supplemented with an independently motivated theory of the presuppositions of competing conditional alternatives to jointly predict this information when and only when it appears. The view works best if indicative and counterfactual conditionals have a closely related semantics, so I conclude by undermining (...)
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  21. Cue Competition Effects and Young Children's Causal and Counterfactual Inferences.Teresa McCormack, Stephen Andrew Butterfill, Christoph Hoerl & Patrick Burns - 2009 - Developmental Psychology 45 (6):1563-1575.
    The authors examined cue competition effects in young children using the blicket detector paradigm, in which objects are placed either singly or in pairs on a novel machine and children must judge which objects have the causal power to make the machine work. Cue competition effects were found in a 5- to 6-year-old group but not in a 4-year-old group. Equivalent levels of forward and backward blocking were found in the former group. Children's counterfactual judgments were subsequently examined by (...)
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  22.  36
    Natural Deduction Calculi and Sequent Calculi for Counterfactual Logics.Francesca Poggiolesi - 2016 - Studia Logica 104 (5):1003-1036.
    In this paper we present labelled sequent calculi and labelled natural deduction calculi for the counterfactual logics CK + {ID, MP}. As for the sequent calculi we prove, in a semantic manner, that the cut-rule is admissible. As for the natural deduction calculi we prove, in a purely syntactic way, the normalization theorem. Finally, we demonstrate that both calculi are sound and complete with respect to Nute semantics [12] and that the natural deduction calculi can be effectively transformed into (...)
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  23.  65
    Counterfactual Reasoning and the Problem of Selecting Antecedent Scenarios.Noel Hendrickson - 2012 - Synthese 185 (3):365-386.
    A recent group of social scientists have argued that counterfactual questions play an essential role in their disciplines, and that it is possible to have rigorous methods to investigate them. Unfortunately, there has been little (if any) interaction between these social scientists and the philosophers who have long held that rigorous counterfactual reasoning is possible. In this paper, I hope to encourage some fresh thinking on both sides by creating new connections between them. I describe what I term (...)
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  24.  71
    Hybrid Counterfactual Logics.Katsuhiko Sano - 2009 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 18 (4):515-539.
    The purpose of this paper is to argue that the hybrid formalism fits naturally in the context of David Lewis’s counterfactual logic and that its introduction into this framework is desirable. This hybridization enables us to regard the inference “The pig is Mary; Mary is pregnant; therefore the pig is pregnant” as a process of updating local information (which depends on the given situation) by using global information (independent of the situation). Our hybridization also has the following technical advantages: (...)
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  25.  46
    A Counterfactual Analysis of Infinite Regress Arguments.İskender Taşdelen - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (2):195-213.
    I propose a counterfactual theory of infinite regress arguments. Most theories of infinite regress arguments present infinite regresses in terms of indicative conditionals. These theories direct us to seek conditions under which an infinite regress generates an infinite inadmissible set. Since in ordinary language infinite regresses are usually expressed by means of infinite sequences of counterfactuals, it is natural to expect that an analysis of infinite regress arguments should be based on a theory of counterfactuals. The Stalnaker–Lewis theory of (...)
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  26.  38
    The Counterfactual Conception of Compensation.Rodney C. Roberts - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (3-4):414–428.
    : My aim in this essay is to remove some of the rubbish that lies in the way of an appropriate understanding of rectificatory compensation, by arguing for the rejection of the counterfactual conception of compensation. Although there is a significant extent to which contemporary theorists have relied upon this idea, the counterfactual conception of compensation is merely a popular assumption, having no positive argument in support of it. Moreover, it can make rendering compensation impossible, and absurd notions (...)
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  27. On the Supposed Temporal Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence; Or: It Wouldn't Have Taken a Miracle!Gabriele Contessa - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (4):461–473.
    The thesis that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world plays a central role in Lewis’s philosophy, as. among other things, it underpins one of Lewis most renowned theses—that causation can be analyzed in terms of counterfactual dependence. To maintain that a temporal asymmetry of counterfactual dependence characterizes our world, Lewis committed himself to two other theses. The first is that the closest possible worlds at which the antecedent of a counterfactual conditional is true (...)
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  28. Geometric Model of Gravity, Counterfactual Solar Mass, and the Pioneer Anomalies.Andrew Holster - manuscript
    This study analyses the predictions of the General Theory of Relativity (GTR) against a slightly modified version of the standard central mass solution (Schwarzschild solution). It is applied to central gravity in the solar system, the Pioneer spacecraft anomalies (which GTR fails to predict correctly), and planetary orbit distances and times, etc (where GTR is thought consistent.) -/- The modified gravity equation was motivated by a theory originally called ‘TFP’ (Time Flow Physics, 2004). This is now replaced by the ‘Geometric (...)
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  29.  65
    Counterfactual Explanation in Literature and the Social Sciences.Daniel Dohrn - 2011 - In D. Birke & M. Butter (eds.), Counterfactual Thinking, Counterfactual Writing. DeGruyter. pp. 45-61.
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  30. Contextuality, Nonlocality and Counterfactual Arguments.Gian Carlo Ghirardi & Karl Wienand - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (7):776-789.
    In this paper, following an elementary line of thought which somewhat differs from the usual one, we prove once more that any deterministic theory predictively equivalent to quantum mechanics unavoidably exhibits a contextual character. The purpose of adopting this perspective is that of paving the way for a critical analysis of the use of counterfactual arguments when dealing with nonlocal physical processes.
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  31.  16
    Local and Global Metrics for the Semantics of Counterfactual Conditionals.Karl Schlechta & David Makinson - 1994 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 4 (2):129-140.
    No aConsiders the question of how far the different ‘closeness’ relations, indexed by worlds, in a given model for counterfactual conditionals may be derived from a common source. Counterbalancing some well-known negative observations, we show that there is also a strong positive answer.
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  32. The Counterfactual Theory of Free Will: A Genuinely Deterministic Form of Soft Determinism.Rick Repetti - 2010 - Saarbrücken, Germany: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.
    I argue for a soft compatibilist theory of free will, i.e., such that free will is compatible with both determinism and indeterminism, directly opposite hard incompatibilism, which holds free will incompatible both with determinism and indeterminism. My intuitions in this book are primarily based on an analysis of meditation, but my arguments are highly syncretic, deriving from many fields, including behaviorism, psychology, conditioning and deconditioning theory, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, simulation theory, etc. I offer a causal/functional analysis of (...)
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  33.  14
    Information Amplified: Memory for Counterfactual Conditionals.Samuel Fillenbaum - 1974 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 102 (1):44-49.
    Conducted 2 experiments with undergraduates which demonstrated that, in a recognition memory task, Ss recognized the negated antecedent and consequent propositions of previously encountered counterfactual conditionals significantly more often than control items, the latter effect being distinctly stronger (Exp I, n = 110). A similar result was obtained for causals related to previously encountered counterfactual conditionals and counterfactual conditionals related to previously encountered causals, the latter being the stronger effect (Exp II, n = 92). Results are discussed (...)
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  34. The Development of Counterfactual Reasoning About Doubly-Determined Events.Teresa McCormack, Maggie Ho, Charlene Gribben, Eimear O'Connor & Christoph Hoerl - 2018 - Cognitive Development 45:1-9.
    Previous studies of children’s counterfactual reasoning have focused on scenarios in which a single causal event yielded an outcome. However, there are also cases in which an outcome would have occurred even in the absence of its actual cause, because of the presence of a further potential cause. In this study, 152 children aged 4-9 years reasoned counterfactually about such scenarios, in which there were ‘doubly-determined’ outcomes. The task involved dropping two metal discs down separate runways, each of which (...)
     
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  35.  32
    Reinforcement Learning and Counterfactual Reasoning Explain Adaptive Behavior in a Changing Environment.Yunfeng Zhang, Jaehyon Paik & Peter Pirolli - 2015 - Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (2):368-381.
    Animals routinely adapt to changes in the environment in order to survive. Though reinforcement learning may play a role in such adaptation, it is not clear that it is the only mechanism involved, as it is not well suited to producing rapid, relatively immediate changes in strategies in response to environmental changes. This research proposes that counterfactual reasoning might be an additional mechanism that facilitates change detection. An experiment is conducted in which a task state changes over time and (...)
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  36.  7
    Mental Causation: A Counterfactual Theory.Thomas Kroedel - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Our minds have physical effects. This happens, for instance, when we move our bodies when we act. How is this possible? Thomas Kroedel defends an account of mental causation in terms of difference-making: if our minds had been different, the physical world would have been different; therefore, the mind causes events in the physical world. His account not only explains how the mind has physical effects at all, but solves the exclusion problem - the problem of how those effects can (...)
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  37.  14
    How Strong is a Counterfactual?David Boylan & Ginger Schultheis - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    There are two leading theories about the meaning of counterfactuals, the Variably Strict Analysis (VSA) and the Strict Analysis (SA). Perhaps most famously, VSA and SA disagree about a principle known as Antecedent Strengtheing: SA validates the principle; VSA does not. Early VSA theorists believed that certain apparent counterexamples to Antecedent Strengthening— now known as Sobel Sequences—refuted SA. More recently, defenders of SA have enriched SA with certain dynamic principles governing how context evolves and argued that Sobel sequences are not (...)
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  38.  19
    The Relation Between Factual and Counterfactual Conditionals.Ana Cristina Quelhas, Célia Rasga & P. N. Johnson‐Laird - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (7):2205-2228.
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  39.  26
    A Counterfactual Analysis in Defense of Aquinas's Inference of Omnipotence From Creation Ex Nihilo.Louis A. Mancha Jr - 2005 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 79:145-155.
    There is a traditional view, maintained by Aquinas and others, which holds that there is a mutual entailment between the power to Create Ex Nihilo and the property of omnipotence. In his Metaphysical Disputations, however, Suarez attacks the traditional view by pointing out a seriousflaw in Aquinas’s argument. Suarez claims that there is no reason in principle why God cannot miraculously bestow CEN-power to creatures––albeit in a limitedform––even on the assumption that God cannot make creatures omnipotent. In this paper the (...)
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  40. Is There A Monist Theory of Causal and Non-Causal Explanations? The Counterfactual Theory of Scientific Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):733-745.
    The goal of this paper is to develop a counterfactual theory of explanation. The CTE provides a monist framework for causal and non-causal explanations, according to which both causal and non-causal explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I argue that the CTE is applicable to two paradigmatic examples of non-causal explanations: Euler’s explanation and renormalization group explanations of universality.
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  41. What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  42.  16
    What Is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  43. Dispositional Properties and Counterfactual Conditionals.Sungho Choi - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):795-841.
    For the last several decades, dispositional properties have been one of the main topics in metaphysics. Still, however, there is little agreement among contemporary metaphysicians on the nature of dispositional properties. Apparently, though, the majority of them have reached the consensus that dispositional ascriptions cannot be analysed in terms of simple counterfactual conditionals. In this paper it will be brought to light that this consensus is wrong. Specifically, I will argue that the simple conditional analysis of dispositions, which is (...)
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  44. I *-Armchair Philosophy, Metaphysical Modality and Counterfactual Thinking.Timothy Williamson - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):1-23.
    A striking feature of the traditional armchair method of philosophy is the use of imaginary examples: for instance, of Gettier cases as counterexamples to the justified true belief analysis of knowledge. The use of such examples is often thought to involve some sort of a priori rational intuition, which crude rationalists regard as a virtue and crude empiricists as a vice. It is argued here that, on the contrary, what is involved is simply an application of our general cognitive capacity (...)
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  45. Statistical Mechanics and the Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Adam Elga - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (3):313-324.
    In "Counterfactual Dependence and Time's Arrow", David Lewis defends an analysis of counterfactuals intended to yield the asymmetry of counterfactual dependence: that later affairs depend counterfactually on earlier ones, and not the other way around. I argue that careful attention to the dynamical properties of thermodynamically irreversible processes shows that in many ordinary cases, Lewis's analysis fails to yield this asymmetry. Furthermore, the analysis fails in an instructive way: it teaches us something about the connection between the asymmetry (...)
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  46. A Counterfactual Theory of Prevention and 'Causation' by Omission.P. Dowe - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):216 – 226.
    There is, no doubt, a temptation to treat preventions, such as ‘the father’s grabbing the child prevented the accident’, and cases of ‘causation’ by omission, such as ‘the father’s inattention was the cause of the child’s accident’, as cases of genuine causation. I think they are not, and in this paper I defend a theory of what they are. More specifically, the counterfactual theory defended here is that a claim about prevention or ‘causation’ by omission should be understood not (...)
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  47. Counterfactual Theories of Causation.Peter Menzies - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The basic idea of counterfactual theories of causation is that the meaning of causal claims can be explained in terms of counterfactual conditionals of the form “If A had not occurred, C would not have occurred”. While counterfactual analyses have been given of type-causal concepts, most counterfactual analyses have focused on singular causal or token-causal claims of the form “event c caused event e”. Analyses of token-causation have become popular in the last thirty years, especially since (...)
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  48.  45
    Time Travel and Counterfactual Asymmetry.Alison Fernandes - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    We standardly evaluate counterfactuals and abilities in temporally asymmetric terms—by keeping the past fixed and holding the future open. Only future events depend counterfactually on what happens now. Past events do not. Conversely, past events are relevant to what abilities one has now in a way that future events are not. Lewis, Sider and others continue to evaluate counterfactuals and abilities in temporally asymmetric terms, even in cases of backwards time travel. I’ll argue that we need more temporally neutral methods. (...)
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  49. Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):485-533.
    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais Paradox. In this paper we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey's decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be (...)
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  50. A Defense of the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm.Justin Klocksiem - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (4):285 – 300.
    Although the counterfactual comparative account of harm, according to which someone is harmed when things go worse for her than they otherwise would have, is intuitively plausible, it has recently come under attack. There are five serious objections in the literature: some philosophers argue that the counterfactual account makes it hard to see how we could harm someone in the course of benefitting that person; others argue that Parfit’s non-identity problem is particularly problematic; another objection claims that the (...)
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