Results for 'Counterfactuals'

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  1. Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Blackwell.
    Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds and his theory of laws of nature.
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  2. Counterfactualism in Fine Arts.Elke Reinhuber - 2023 - New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
    Counterfactual thinking has become an established method to evaluate decisions in a range of disciplines, including history, psychology and literature. Elke Reinhuber argues it also has valuable applications in the Fine Arts and popular media. A fascination with the path not taken is a logical consequence of a world saturated with choices. Art which provokes and explores these tendencies can help to recognise and contextualise the impulse to avoid or endlessly revisit individual or collective decisions. Reinhuber describes the term in (...)
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  3. 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 shifters".
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  4. Counterfactual Conditionals: Orthodoxy and its Challenges.Daniel Dohrn - 2020 - Milan: Mimesis International.
    In Counterfactual Conditionals, Daniel Dohrn discusses the standard account of counterfactuals, conditionals of the form ‘If A had been the case, then B would have been the case’. According to the standard account, a counterfactual is true if the then-sentence is true in all closest worlds in which the if-sentence is true. Closeness is spelled out in terms of an ordering of worlds by their similarity. Dohrn explores resources of defending the standard account against several challenges. In particular, he (...)
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  5. Causal Counterfactuals and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 14-32.
    A standing challenge in the theory of counterfactuals is to solve the “deviation problem”. Consider ordinary counterfactuals involving an antecedent concerning a difference from the actual course of events at a particular time, and a consequent concerning, at least in part, what happens at a later time. In the possible worlds framework, the problem is often put in terms of which are the relevant antecedent worlds. Desiderata for the solution include that the relevant antecedent worlds be governed by (...)
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  6. Causal Counterfactuals Without Miracles or Backtracking.J. Dmitri Gallow - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    If the laws are deterministic, then standard theories of counterfactuals are forced to reject at least one of the following conditionals: 1) had you chosen differently, there would not have been a violation of the laws of nature; and 2) had you chosen differently, the initial conditions of the universe would not have been different. On the relevant readings---where we hold fixed factors causally independent of your choice---both of these conditionals appear true. And rejecting either one leads to trouble (...)
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  7. Presupposing Counterfactuality.Julia Zakkou - 2019 - Semantics and Pragmatics 12.
    There is long standing agreement both among philosophers and linguists that the term ‘counterfactual conditional’ is misleading if not a misnomer. Speakers of both non-past subjunctive (or ‘would’) conditionals and past subjunctive (or ‘would have’) conditionals need not convey counterfactuality. The relationship between the conditionals in question and the counterfactuality of their antecedents is thus not one of presupposing. It is one of conversationally implicating. This paper provides a thorough examination of the arguments against the presupposition view as applied to (...)
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  8. Counterfactuals, Accessibility, and Comparative Similarity.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno (2008) have defended the validity of counterfactual hypothetical syllogism (CHS) within the Stalnaker-Lewis account. Whenever the premisses of an instance of CHS are non-vacuosly true, a shift in context has occurred. Hence the standard counterexamples to CHS suffer from context failure. Charles Cross (2011) rejects this argument as irreconcilable with the Stalnaker-Lewis account. I argue against Cross that the basic Stalnaker-Lewis truth condition may be supplemented in a way that makes (CHS) valid. Yet pace Brogaard (...)
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  9. Mechanisms, Counterfactuals and Laws.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2018 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 144-156.
    In this chapter we examine the relation between mechanisms and laws/counterfactuals by revisiting the main notions of mechanism found in the literature. We distinguish between two different conceptions of ‘mechanism’: mechanisms-of underlie or constitute a causal process; mechanisms-for are complex systems that function so as to produce a certain behavior. According to some mechanists, a mechanism fulfills both of these roles simultaneously. The main argument of the chapter is that there is an asymmetrical dependence between both kinds of mechanisms (...)
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  10.  64
    Counterfactual Reasoning.Roberta Ferrario - 2001 - In P. Bouquet V. Akman (ed.), Modeling and Using Context. Springer. pp. 170--183.
    Primary goal of this paper is to show that counterfactual reasoning, as many other kinds of common sense reasoning, can be studied and analyzed through what we can call a cognitive approach, that represents knowledge as structured and partitioned into different domains, everyone of which has a specific theory, but can exchange data and information with some of the others. Along these lines, we are going to show that a kind of ``counterfactual attitude'' is pervasive in a lot of forms (...)
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  11. Counterfactuals and Causation: History, Problems, and Prospects.John Collins, Ned Hall & L. A. Paul - 2004 - In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press. pp. 1--57.
    Among the many philosophers who hold that causal facts1 are to be explained in terms of—or more ambitiously, shown to reduce to—facts about what happens, together with facts about the fundamental laws that govern what happens, the clear favorite is an approach that sees counterfactual dependence as the key to such explanation or reduction. The paradigm examples of causation, so advocates of this approach tell us, are examples in which events c and e— the cause and its effect— both occur, (...)
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  12. 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 (...)
  13. Most Counterfactuals Are False.Alan Hajek - 2014
  14. Counterfactual Donkeys Don't Get High.Michael Deigan - 2018 - Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 22 1:367--384.
    I present data that suggest the universal entailments of counterfactual donkey sentences aren’t as universal as some have claimed. I argue that this favors the strategy of attributing these entailments to a special property of the similarity ordering on worlds provided by some contexts, rather than to a semantically encoded sensitivity to assignment.
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  15. Counterfactual Logic and the Necessity of Mathematics.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    This paper is concerned with counterfactual logic and its implications for the modal status of mathematical claims. It is most directly a response to an ambitious program by Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne (2018), who seek to establish that mathematics is committed to its own necessity. I claim that their argument fails to establish this result for two reasons. First, their assumptions force our hand on a controversial debate within counterfactual logic. In particular, they license counterfactual strengthening— the inference from ‘If A (...)
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  16. If Counterfactuals Were Neg-Raisers, Conditional Excluded Middle Wouldn’T Be Valid.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - manuscript
    The principle of Conditional Excluded Middle has been a matter of longstanding controversy in both semantics and metaphysics. According to this principle, we are, inter alia, committed to claims like the following: If the coin had been flipped, it would have landed heads, or if the coin had been flipped, it would not have landed heads. In favour of the principle, theorists have appealed, primarily, to linguistic data such as that we tend to hear ¬(A > B) as equivalent to (...)
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  17. Counterfactual Thinking and Thought Experiments.Josh Turkewitz - 2014 - Florida Philosophical Review 14 (1):85-96.
    As part of Timothy Williamson’s inquiry into how we gain knowledge from thought experiments he submits various ways of representing the argument underlying Gettier cases in modal and counterfactual terms. But all of these ways run afoul of the problem of deviance - that there are cases that might satisfy the descriptions given by a Gettier text but still fail to be counterexamples to the justified true belief model of knowledge). Problematically, this might mean that either it is too hard (...)
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  18. Counterfactual Analysis by Algorithmic Complexity: A Metric Between Possible Worlds.Nicholas Corrêa & Nythamar Fernandes de Oliveira - forthcoming - Manuscrito.
    Counterfactuals have become an important area of interdisciplinary interest, especially in logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, metaphysics, psychology, decision theory, and even artificial intelligence. In this study, we propose a new form of analysis for counterfactuals: analysis by algorithmic complexity. Inspired by Lewis-Stalnaker's Possible Worlds Semantics, the proposed method allows for a new interpretation of the debate between David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker regarding the Limit and Singularity assumptions. Besides other results, we offer a new way to answer (...)
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  19. Counterfactual Double Lives.Michael Deigan - 2017 - Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium:215--224.
    Expressions typically thought to be rigid designators can refer to distinct individuals in the consequents of counterfactuals. This occurs in counteridenticals, such as “If I were you, I would arrest me”, as well as more ordinary counterfactuals with clearly possible antecedents, like “If I were a police officer, I would arrest me”. I argue that in response we should drop rigidity and deal with de re modal predication using something more flexible, such as counterpart theory.
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  20. Counterfactuals and the Law.Simon Beck - 1993 - South African Journal of Philosophy 12 (3).
    This article is concerned with the place counterfactual reasoning occupies in South African law, and how philosophy might be able to help the law. I point out some of the more important and unavoidable uses of counterfactual reasoning in our law. Following this I make some suggestions as to how philosophy, and especially informal logic, can be of help to the law. Finally, I make some suggestions as to how the law in turn can help philosophy.
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  21. Counterfactuals and Comparative Possibility.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):418-446.
  22. Mathematical Counterfactuals with Number-Theoretic Antecedents and Extra-Mathematical Explanation.Lars Arthur Tump - 2021 - Logique Et Analyse 254:191-213.
    A proposal by Baron, Colyvan, and Ripley to extend the counterfactual theory of explanation to include counterfactual reasoning about mathematical explanations of physical facts is discussed. Their suggestion is that the explanatory role of mathematics can best be captured counterfactually. This paper focuses on their example with a number-theoretic antecedent. Incorporating discussions on the structure and de re knowledge of numbers, it is argued that the approach leads to a change in the structure of numbers. As a result, the counterfactual (...)
     
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  23. Counterfactual Decision Theory.Brian Hedden - forthcoming - Mind.
    I defend counterfactual decision theory, which says that you should evaluate an action in terms of which outcomes would likely obtain, were you to perform it. Counterfactual decision theory has traditionally been subsumed under causal decision theory as a particular formulation of the latter. This is a mistake. Counterfactual decision theory is importantly different from, and superior to, causal decision theory, properly so-called. Causation and counterfactuals come apart in three kinds of cases. In cases of overdetermination, an action can (...)
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  24.  77
    Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology.Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford:: Oxford University Press.
    How are causal judgements such as 'The ice on the road caused the traffic accident' connected with counterfactual judgements such as 'If there had not been any ice on the road, the traffic accident would not have happened'? This volume throws new light on this question by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches to causation and counterfactuals. Traditionally, philosophers have primarily been interested in connections between causal and counterfactual claims on the level of meaning or truth-conditions. (...)
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  25.  33
    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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  26. Counterfactuals, Dispositions, and the Causal Modalities.Wilfrid Sellars - 1957 - In Herbert Feigl Michael Scriven & Grover Maxwell (eds.), Minnesota Studies in The Philosophy of Science, Vol. II. University of Minnesota Press.
    [p.225] Introduction (i) Although the following essay attempts to deal in a connected way with a number of connected conceptual tangles, it is by no means monolithic in design. It divides roughly in two, with the first half (Parts I and II) devoted to certain puzzles which have their source in a misunderstanding of the more specific structure of the language in which we describe and explain natural phenomena; while the second half (Parts III and IV) attempts to resolve the (...)
     
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  27. Counterfactual Probability.Ginger Schultheis - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Stalnaker's Thesis about indicative conditionals is, roughly, that the probability one ought to assign to an indicative conditional equals the probability that one ought to assign to its consequent conditional on its antecedent. The thesis seems right. If you draw a card from a standard 52-card deck, how confident are you that the card is a diamond if it's a red card? To answer this, you calculate the proportion of red cards that are diamonds -- that is, you calculate the (...)
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  28. Counterfactuals and Their Truthmakers.Joshua Anderson - 2014 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):7-24.
    This article compares David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals with a Platonic theory of counterfactual truthmakers. By pointing to some weaknesses in Lewis’s theory, it will highlight some of the strengths of the Platonic theory. The article will progress in the following way. First, I present David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals, and discuss some problems the theory has. Next, I discuss Platonic truthmakers, in general, and then show how this applies to counterfactuals. Finally, I discuss the strengths and (...)
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  29. Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow.David Lewis - 1979 - Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
  30. On Counterfactuals of Libertarian Freedom: Is There Anything I Would Have Done If I Could Have Done Otherwise?Paul C. Anders, Joshua C. Thurow & Kenneth Hochstetter - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1):85-94.
  31. Counterfactuals, Causation, and Preemption.John Collins - unknown
    A counterfactual is a conditional statement in the subjunctive mood. For example: If Suzy hadn’t thrown the rock, then the bottle wouldn’t have shattered. The philosophical importance of counterfactuals stems from the fact that they seem to be closely connected to the concept of causation. Thus it seems that the truth of the above conditional is just what is required for Suzy’s throw to count as a cause of the bottle’s shattering. If philosophers were reluctant to exploit this idea (...)
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  32. Counterfactually Robust Inferences, Modally Ruled Out Inferences, and Semantic Holism.Pietro Salis - 2016 - AL-Mukhatabat (16):111-35.
    It is often argued that inferential role semantics (IRS) entails semantic holism as long as theorists fail to answer the question about which inferences, among the many, are meaning-constitutive. Since analyticity, as truth in virtue of meaning, is a widely dismissed notion in indicating which inferences determine meaning, it seems that holism follows. Semantic holism is often understood as facing problems with the stability of content and many usual explanations of communication. Thus, we should choose between giving up IRS, to (...)
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  33.  43
    Counterfactual Thinking and Recency Effects in Causal Judgment.Paul Henne, Aleksandra Kulesza, Karla Perez & Augustana Houcek - manuscript
    People tend to judge more recent events, relative to earlier ones, as the cause of some particular outcome. For instance, people are more inclined to judge that the last basket, rather than the first, caused the team to win the basketball game. This recency effect, however, reverses in cases of overdetermination: people judge that earlier events, rather than more recent ones, caused the outcome when the event is individually sufficient but not individually necessary for the outcome. In five experiments (N (...)
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  34. Counterfactual-Based Approach.Tim Williamson - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. Routledge.
     
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  35. Counterfactual Conditionals.Dorothy Edgington - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Modality. Routledge.
  36.  34
    Counterfactual Donkey Sentences: A Response to Robert van Rooij: Articles.Yingying Wang - 2009 - Journal of Semantics 26 (3):317-328.
    Robert van Rooij proposed an analysis of counterfactual donkey sentences by combining the Stalnaker–Lewis analysis of counterfactuals with standard dynamic semantics. This paper points out some problems with van Rooij's treatment of counterfactual sentences in the language of first-order logic and provides a new interpretation using dynamic semantics.
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  37. Elusive Counterfactuals.Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):286-313.
    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 (...)
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  38. Counterfactual Discourse in Context.Karen S. Lewis - 2018 - Noûs 52 (3):481-507.
    The classic Lewis-Stalnaker semantics for counterfactuals captures that Sobel sequences are consistent sequences, for example: a.If Sophie had gone to the parade, she would have seen Pedro dance. b.But if Sophie had gone to the parade and been stuck behind someone tall, she would not have seen Pedro dance. But reverse a sequence like this one and it no longer sounds so good, which is surprising on the classic semantics. This observation motivated Kai von Fintel and Thony Gillies to (...)
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  39. A Counterfactual Account of Diachronic Structural Rationality.Franz Altner - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64:1-30.
    Philosophers who take rationality to consist in the satisfaction of rational requirements typically favour rational requirements that govern mental attitudes at a time rather than across times. One such account has been developed by Broome in Rationality through reasoning. He claims that diachronic functional properties of intentions such as settling on courses of actions and resolving conflicts are emergent properties that can be explained with reference to synchronic rational pressures. This is why he defends only a minimal diachronic requirement which (...)
     
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  40. Counterfactual Similarity, Nomic Indiscernibility, and the Paradox of Quidditism.Andrew D. Bassford & C. Daniel Dolson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Aristotle is essentially human; that is, for all possible worlds metaphysically consistent with our own, if Aristotle exists, then he is human. This is a claim about the essential property of an object. The claim that objects have essential properties has been hotly disputed, but for present purposes, we can bracket that issue. In this essay, we are interested, rather, in the question of whether properties themselves have essential properties (or features) for their existence. We call those who suppose they (...)
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  41. 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.
  42. Counterfactual Scorekeeping.Anthony S. Gillies - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (3):329 - 360.
    Counterfactuals are typically thought--given the force of Sobel sequences--to be variably strict conditionals. I go the other way. Sobel sequences and (what I call) Hegel sequences push us to a strict conditional analysis of counterfactuals: counterfactuals amount to some necessity modal scoped over a plain material conditional, just which modal being a function of context. To make this worth saying I need to say just how counterfactuals and context interact. No easy feat, but I have something (...)
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  43.  7
    Counterfactuals and Scientific Realism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - London and Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
    This book is a sustained defense of the compatibility of the presence of idealizations in the sciences and scientific realism. So, the book is essentially a detailed response to the infamous arguments raised by Nancy Cartwright to the effect that idealization and scientific realism are incompatible.
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  44. Counterfactuals and the Epistemology of Modality.Thomas Kroedel - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12.
    The paper provides an explanation of our knowledge of metaphysical modality, or modal knowledge, from our ability to evaluate counterfactual conditionals. The latter ability lends itself to an evolutionary explanation since it enables us to learn from mistakes. Different logical principles linking counterfactuals to metaphysical modality can be employed to extend this explanation to the epistemology of modality. While the epistemological use of some of these principles is either philosophically implausible or empirically inadequate, the equivalence of ‘Necessarily p’ with (...)
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  45. Counterfactuals and the Fixity of the Past.Penelope Mackie - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):1-19.
    I argue that David Lewis’s attempt, in his ‘Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow’, to explain the fixity of the past in terms of counterfactual independence is unsuccessful. I point out that there is an ambiguity in the claim that the past is counterfactually independent of the present (or, more generally, that the earlier is counterfactually independent of the later), corresponding to two distinct theses about the relation between time and counterfactuals, both officially endorsed by Lewis. I argue that Lewis’s (...)
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  46. 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 the development in the (...)
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  47.  34
    Historical Counterfactuals, Transition Periods, and the Constraints on Imagination.Catherine Greene - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):305-323.
    Counterfactual analysis is an interesting feature of thought experiments, because it requires the imagination of alternative states of the world (see also publications by Fearon, Lebow and Stein, Reiss, and Tetlock and Belkin, who suggest the same). In historical analysis, the use of imagination is often the focus of criticisms of such counterfactual analysis. In this article, I consider three strategies for constraining imagination: making limited counterfactual changes, limiting counterfactual changes to the decisions of important figures, and using evidence to (...)
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  48. 'Might' Counterfactuals.Antony Eagle - manuscript
    A ‘might’ counterfactual is a sentence of the form ‘If it had been the case that A, it might have been the case that C’. Recently, John Hawthorne has argued that the truth of many ‘might’ counterfactuals precludes the truth of most ‘would’ counterfactuals. I examine the semantics of ‘might’ counterfactuals, with one eye towards defusing this argument, but mostly with the aim of understanding this interesting class of sentences better.
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  49. Counterfactual Fallacies.Andrea Iacona - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19).
    A widely accepted claim about counterfactuals is that they differ from strict conditionals, that is, there is no adequate representation of them as sentences of the form   . To justify this claim, Stalnaker and Lewis have argued that some fallacious inferences would turn out valid if counterfactuals were so represented. However, their argument has a flaw, as it rests on a questionable assumption about the relation between surface grammar and logical form. Without that assumption, no consequence (...)
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  50. Counterfactuals and Two Kinds of Ought. Dohrn - 2013 - GAP 8 Proceedings.
     
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