Results for 'counterfactuals'

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  1.  14
    Moral Facts and the Problem of Justification in Ethics.Counterfactual Dependence - 1995 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73 (3).
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  2. transworld untrustworthiness and Plantinga's free will defense'.Michael Bergmann'might-Counterfactuals - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16:336-351.
  3. Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Malden, Mass.: 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.
  4. Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem?Lei Zhong - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
    A quite popular approach to solving the Causal Exclusion Problem is to adopt a counterfactual theory of causation. In this paper, I distinguish three versions of the Causal Exclusion Argument. I argue that the counterfactualist approach can block the first two exclusion arguments, because the Causal Inheritance Principle and the Upward Causation Principle upon which the two arguments are based respectively are problematic from the perspective of the counterfactual account of causation. However, I attempt to show that the counterfactualist approach (...)
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  5.  10
    Counterfactualism in fine arts.Elke Reinhuber - 2022 - 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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  6. Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow’, Reprinted with Postscripts In.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Philosophical Papers 2.
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  7.  9
    Counterfactuals: paths of the might have been.Christopher Prendergast - 2019 - London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
    What are counterfactuals and what is their point? In many cases, none at all. It may be true that if kangaroos didn't have tails, they would fall over, but they do have tails and if they didn't they wouldn't be kangaroos (or would they?). This is the sort of thing that can give counterfactuals a bad name, as inhabitants of a La La Land of the mind. On the other hand, counterfactuals do useful service across a broad (...)
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  8. 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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  9. Most Counterfactuals Are False.Alan Hajek - 2014
  10. Against Counterfactual Miracles.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (2):241-286.
    This paper considers how counterfactuals should be evaluated on the assumption that determinism is true. I argue against Lewis's influential view that the actual laws of nature would have been false if something had happened that never actually happened, and in favour of the competing view that history would have been different all the way back. I argue that we can do adequate justice to our ordinary practice of relying on a wide range of historical truths in evaluating (...) by saying that, in typical cases, history would have been only *very slightly* different until shortly before the relevant time. The paper also draws some connections between the puzzle about counterfactuals under determinism and the debate about whether determinism entails that no-one can ever do otherwise than they in fact do. (shrink)
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  11. 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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  12. Interventionist counterfactuals.Rachael Briggs - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):139-166.
    A number of recent authors (Galles and Pearl, Found Sci 3 (1):151–182, 1998; Hiddleston, Noûs 39 (4):232–257, 2005; Halpern, J Artif Intell Res 12:317–337, 2000) advocate a causal modeling semantics for counterfactuals. But the precise logical significance of the causal modeling semantics remains murky. Particularly important, yet particularly under-explored, is its relationship to the similarity-based semantics for counterfactuals developed by Lewis (Counterfactuals. Harvard University Press, 1973b). The causal modeling semantics is both an account of the truth conditions (...)
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  13. Counterfactuals and access points.Michael McDermott - 1999 - Mind 108 (430):291-334.
    Common sense suggests that counterfactuals are capable of truth and falsity, and that their truth values depend on more than just the actual course of events. Projectivists, like Mackie, deny the first; reductivists, like Lewis, deny the second. I criticize Mackie's and Lewis's theories, thereby defending realism. There are parallel issues and positions concerning the other concepts of the natural necessity family. A realist theory may also have a positive part, consisting of an account of some of the conceptual (...)
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  14. Levelling counterfactual scepticism.Katie Steele & Alexander Sandgren - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):927-947.
    In this paper, we develop a novel response to counterfactual scepticism, the thesis that most ordinary counterfactual claims are false. In the process we aim to shed light on the relationship between debates in the philosophy of science and debates concerning the semantics and pragmatics of counterfactuals. We argue that science is concerned with many domains of inquiry, each with its own characteristic entities and regularities; moreover, statements of scientific law often include an implicit ceteris paribus clause that restricts (...)
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  15. Counterfactuals, hyperintensionality and Hurford disjunctions.Hüseyin Güngör - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (1):169-195.
    This paper investigates propositional hyperintensionality in counterfactuals. It starts with a scenario describing two children playing on a seesaw and studies the truth-value predictions for counterfactuals by four different semantic theories. The theories in question are Kit Fine’s truthmaker semantics, Luis Alonso-Ovalle’s alternative semantics, inquisitive semantics and Paolo Santorio’s syntactic truthmaker semantics. These predictions suggest that the theories that distinguish more of a given set of intensionally equivalent sentences (Fine and Alonso-Ovalle’s) fare better than those that do not (...)
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  16. Counterfactual Dependence and Time’s Arrow.David Lewis - 1979 - Noûs 13 (4):455-476.
  17. 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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  18. Counterfactual Skepticism and Multidimensional Semantics.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):875-898.
    It has recently been argued that indeterminacy and indeterminism make most ordinary counterfactuals false. I argue that a plausible way to avoid such counterfactual skepticism is to postulate the existence of primitive modal facts that serve as truth-makers for counterfactual claims. Moreover, I defend a new theory of ‘might’ counterfactuals, and develop assertability and knowledge criteria to suit such unobservable ‘counterfacts’.
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  19. Counterfactual Probability.Ginger Schultheis - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (11):581-614.
    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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  20. Counterfactual Contamination.Simon Goldstein & John Hawthorne - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):262-278.
    Many defend the thesis that when someone knows p, they couldn’t easily have been wrong about p. But the notion of easy possibility in play is relatively undertheorized. One structural idea in the literature, the principle of Counterfactual Closure (CC), connects easy possibility with counterfactuals: if it easily could have happened that p, and if p were the case, then q would be the case, it follows that it easily could have happened that q. We first argue that while (...)
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  21. Counterfactual Decision Theory.Brian Hedden - 2023 - Mind 132 (527):730-761.
    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 (...)
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  22.  39
    I-Counterfactuals.Dorothy Edgington - 2008 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt1):1-21.
    I argue that the suppositional view of conditionals, which is quite popular for indicative conditionals, extends also to subjunctive or counterfactual conditionals. According to this view, conditional judgements should not be construed as factual, categorical judgements, but as judgements about the consequent under the supposition of the antecedent. The strongest evidence for the view comes from focusing on the fact that conditional judgements are often uncertain; and conditional uncertainty, which is a well-understood notion, does not function like uncertainty about matters (...)
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  23. 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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  24.  11
    Counterfactuals and Probability.Moritz Schulz - 2017 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    Moritz Schulz explores counterfactual thought and language: what would have happened if things had gone a different way. Counterfactual questions may concern large scale derivations or small scale evaluations of minor derivations. A common impression, which receives a thorough defence in the book, is that oftentimes we find it impossible to know what would have happened. However, this does not mean that we are completely at a loss: we are typically capable of evaluating counterfactual questions probabilistically: we can say what (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Counterfactual Desirability.Richard Bradley & H. Orii Stefansson - 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 desirability maximising. We (...)
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  27. Counterfactual Similarity, Nomic Indiscernibility, and the Paradox of Quidditism.Andrew D. Bassford & C. Daniel Dolson - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (1):230-261.
    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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  28. Counterfactuals and modality.Gabriel Greenberg - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (6):1255-1280.
    This essay calls attention to a set of linguistic interactions between counterfactual conditionals, on one hand, and possibility modals like could have and might have, on the other. These data present a challenge to the popular variably strict semantics for counterfactual conditionals. Instead, they support a version of the strict conditional semantics in which counterfactuals and possibility modals share a unified quantificational domain. I’ll argue that pragmatic explanations of this evidence are not available to the variable analysis. And putative (...)
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  29. Counterfactuals and the Second Law.Barry Loewer - 2006 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality: Russell's Republic Revisited. Oxford University Press.
  30. Counterfactuals and explanation.Boris Kment - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):261-310.
    On the received view, counterfactuals are analysed using the concept of closeness between possible worlds: the counterfactual 'If it had been the case that p, then it would have been the case that q' is true at a world w just in case q is true at all the possible p-worlds closest to w. The degree of closeness between two worlds is usually thought to be determined by weighting different respects of similarity between them. The question I consider in (...)
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  31. Knowledge, counterfactuals, and determinism.Jeremy Goodman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2275-2278.
    Deterministic physical theories are not beyond the reach of scientific discovery. From this fact I show that David Lewis was mistaken to think that small counterfactual perturbations from deterministic worlds involve violations of those world’s laws.
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  32.  11
    The counterfactual yardstick: normativity, self-constitutionalisation and the public sphere.Karolina M. Cern - 2014 - Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Edition.
    The book discusses a democratic legitimation for modern law. Debates on Europeanisation are taken into account. Ronald Dworkin's, Neil MacCormick's and Jürgen Habermas's standpoints on relations between the law and the public sphere are investigated. Concepts of self-reflexive polity, self-constitutionalisation, constitutional patriotism are analysed.
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  33. Determinism, Counterfactuals, and Decision.Alexander Sandgren & Timothy Luke Williamson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):286-302.
    Rational agents face choices, even when taking seriously the possibility of determinism. Rational agents also follow the advice of Causal Decision Theory (CDT). Although many take these claims to be well-motivated, there is growing pressure to reject one of them, as CDT seems to go badly wrong in some deterministic cases. We argue that deterministic cases do not undermine a counterfactual model of rational deliberation, which is characteristic of CDT. Rather, they force us to distinguish between counterfactuals that are (...)
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  34.  38
    Prudential Problems for the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm and Benefit.Erik Carlson, Jens Johansson & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (2):474-481.
    In this paper, we put forward two novel arguments against the counterfactual comparative account (CCA) of harm and benefit. In both arguments, the central theme is that CCA conflicts with plausible judgements about benefit and prudence.
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  35.  78
    Counterfactuals with Disjunctive Antecedents.Thomas Mckay & Peter Van Inwagen - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 31 (5):353 - 356.
  36. 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 fact (...)
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  37. Counterfactuals of Ontological Dependence.Sam Baron - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (2):278-299.
    A great deal has been written about 'would' counterfactuals of causal dependence. Comparatively little has been said regarding 'would' counterfactuals of ontological dependence. The standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics is inadequate for handling such counterfactuals. That's because some of these counterfactuals are counterpossibles, and the standard Lewis-Stalnaker semantics trivializes for counterpossibles. Fortunately, there is a straightforward extension of the Lewis-Stalnaker semantics available that handles counterpossibles: simply take Lewis's closeness relation that orders possible worlds and unleash it across impossible (...)
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  38. Counterfactuals And Possible Worlds.Jonathan Bennett - 1974 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (December):381-402.
    This article is a selective review of David Lewis's Counterfactuals, a challenging, provocative, absorbingly interesting attempt to analyze statements of the form “If it were the case that P, then it would be the case that Q.” I shall follow Lewis in calling these “counterfactuals,” and shall nearly follow him in abbreviating them to the form P→Q.Chapter 1, which is nearly a third of the whole, gives the analysis and proves that it endows counterfactuals with some properties (...)
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  39. Counterfactual Thinking: Function and Dysfunction.Keith Markman, Figen Karadogan, Matthew Lindberg & Ethan Zell - 2009 - In Keith Markman, William Klein & Julie Suhr (eds.), Handbook of Imagination and Mental Simulation. New York City, New York, USA: Psychology Press. pp. 175-194.
    Counterfactual thinking—the capacity to reflect on what would, could, or should have been if events had transpired differently—is a pervasive, yet seemingly paradoxical human tendency. On the one hand, counterfactual thoughts can be comforting and inspiring (Carroll & Shepperd, Chapter 28), but on the other they can be anxiety provoking and depressing (Zeelenberg & Pieters, Chapter 27). Likewise, such thoughts can illuminate pathways toward better future outcomes (Wong, Galinsky, & Kray, Chapter 11), yet they can also promote confusion and lead (...)
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  40. 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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  41. Counterfactuals and Propositional Contingentism.Peter Fritz & Jeremy Goodman - 2017 - Review of Symbolic Logic 10 (3):509-529.
    This article explores the connection between two theses: the principle of conditional excluded middle for the counterfactual conditional, and the claim that it is a contingent matter which (coarse grained) propositions there are. Both theses enjoy wide support, and have been defended at length by Robert Stalnaker. We will argue that, given plausible background assumptions, these two principles are incompatible, provided that conditional excluded middle is understood in a certain modalized way. We then show that some (although not all) arguments (...)
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  42. Counterfactual scepticism and antecedent-contextualism.Alan Hájek - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):637-659.
    I have argued for a kind of ‘counterfactual scepticism’: most counterfactuals ever uttered or thought in human history are false. I briefly rehearse my main arguments. Yet common sense recoils. Ordinary speakers judge most counterfactuals that they utter and think to be true. A common defence of such judgments regards counterfactuals as context-dependent: the proposition expressed by a given counterfactual can vary according to the context in which it is uttered. In normal contexts, the counterfactuals that (...)
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  43.  75
    The counterfactual direct argument.Simon Goldstein - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (2):193-232.
    Many have accepted that ordinary counterfactuals and might counterfactuals are duals. In this paper, I show that this thesis leads to paradoxical results when combined with a few different unorthodox yet increasingly popular theses, including the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Given Duality and several other theses, we can quickly infer the validity of another paradoxical principle, ‘The Counterfactual Direct Argument’, which says that ‘A> ’ entails ‘A> ’. First, I provide a collapse theorem for the (...)
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  44. Counterfactuals and Explanatory Pluralism.Kareem Khalifa, Gabriel Doble & Jared Millson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1439-1460.
    Recent literature on non-causal explanation raises the question as to whether explanatory monism, the thesis that all explanations submit to the same analysis, is true. The leading monist proposal holds that all explanations support change-relating counterfactuals. We provide several objections to this monist position. 1Introduction2Change-Relating Monism's Three Problems3Dependency and Monism: Unhappy Together4Another Challenge: Counterfactual Incidentalism4.1High-grade necessity4.2Unity in diversity5Conclusion.
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  45. Counterfactuals and comparative possibility.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 2 (4):418-446.
  46.  39
    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 less similar. (...)
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  47. Can Counterfactuals Really Be about Possible Worlds?Stephen Barker - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):557-576.
    The standard view about counterfactuals is that a counterfactual (A > C) is true if and only if the A-worlds most similar to the actual world @ are C-worlds. I argue that the worlds conception of counterfactuals is wrong. I assume that counterfactuals have non-trivial truth-values under physical determinism. I show that the possible-worlds approach cannot explain many embeddings of the form (P > (Q > R)), which intuitively are perfectly assertable, and which must be true if (...)
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  48. A Counterfactual Approach to Explanation in Mathematics.Sam Baron, Mark Colyvan & David Ripley - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (1):1-34.
    ABSTRACT Our goal in this paper is to extend counterfactual accounts of scientific explanation to mathematics. Our focus, in particular, is on intra-mathematical explanations: explanations of one mathematical fact in terms of another. We offer a basic counterfactual theory of intra-mathematical explanations, before modelling the explanatory structure of a test case using counterfactual machinery. We finish by considering the application of counterpossibles to mathematical explanation, and explore a second test case along these lines.
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  49. Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow.Thomas Kroedel & Franz Huber - 2012 - 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 Arrow’s impossibility (...)
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  50. Counterfactuals, Overdetermination and Mental Causation.Simona Aimar - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):469-477.
    The Exclusion Problem for mental causation suggests that there is a tension between the claim that the mental causes physical effects, and the claim that the mental does not overdetermine its physical effects. In response, Karen Bennett puts forward an extra necessary condition for overdetermination : if one candidate cause were to occur but the other were not to occur, the effect would still occur. She thus denies one of the assumptions of EP, the assumption that if an effect has (...)
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