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  1. added 2019-06-05
    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 of the (...)
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  2. added 2019-03-12
    Strict Conditional Accounts of Counterfactuals.Cory Nichols - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (6):621-645.
    von Fintel and Gillies : 329–360, 2007) have proposed a dynamic strict conditional account of counterfactuals as an alternative to the standard variably strict account due to Stalnaker and Lewis. Von Fintel’s view is motivated largely by so-called reverse Sobel sequences, about which the standard view seems to make the wrong predictions. More recently Moss :561–586, 2012) has offered a pragmatic/epistemic explanation that purports to explain the data without requiring abandonment of the standard view. So far the small amount of (...)
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  3. added 2019-02-23
    Strictly Speaking.Renee Bolinger & Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Analysis.
    A type of argument occasionally made in metaethics, epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of science notes that most ordinary uses of some expression fail to satisfy the strictest interpretation of the expression, and concludes that the ordinary assertions are false. This requires there to be a presumption in favour of a strict interpretation of expressions that admit of interpretations at different levels of strictness. We argue that this presumption is unmotivated, and thus the arguments fail.
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  4. added 2019-02-07
    Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives 33.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-16
    An Indexical Theory of Conditionals.Ken Warmbrōd - 1981 - Dialogue 20 (4):644-664.
    Language theorists have recently come to have an increasing appreciation for the fact that context contributes heavily in determining our interpretation of what is said. Indeed, it now seems clear that no complete understanding of a natural language is possible without some account of the way in which context affects our interpretation of discourse. In this paper, I will attempt to explore one facet of the language – context relationship, namely, the relation between conditionals and context. The first part of (...)
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  6. added 2017-12-25
    The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52.
    Some have argued for a division of epistemic labor in which mathematicians supply truths and philosophers supply their necessity. We argue that this is wrong: mathematics is committed to its own necessity. Counterfactuals play a starring role.
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  7. added 2017-11-08
    On Counterfactual Reasoning.Carl Erik Kühl - manuscript
    Counterfactual reasoning has always played a role in human life. We ask questions like, “Could it have been different?”, “Under which conditions might/would it have been different?”, “What would have happened if…?” If we don’t find an answer, i.e. what we accept as an answer, we may start reasoning. Reasoning means introducing still new information/assumptions, new questions, new answers to new questions etc. From a formal point of view, it may be compared with stepwise moving towards a destination in a (...)
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  8. added 2017-06-09
    Counterfactual Skepticism and Multidimensional Semantics.H. 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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  9. added 2017-06-04
    In Defense of Brogaard-Salerno Stricture.Matheus Silva - forthcoming - The Reasoner 11 (7).
    Brogaard and Salerno (2008) argued that counter-examples to contraposition, strengthening the antecedent, and hypothetical syllogism involving subjunctive conditionals only seem to work because they involve a contextual fallacy where the context assumed in the premise(s) is illicitly shifted in the conclusion. To avoid such counter-examples they have proposed that the context must remain fixed when evaluating an argument for validity. That is the Brogaard-Salerno Stricture. Tristan Haze (2016), however, has recently objected that intuitively valid argumentative forms such as conjunction introduction (...)
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  10. added 2016-11-10
    Might/Would Duality and The Probabilities of Counterfactuals.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Logique and Analyse 242:119-124.
    In this paper it is shown that Lewis' MWD (might/would duality) and imaging principles lead to wildly implausible probability assignments for would counterfactuals.
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  11. added 2016-03-31
    Out of the Closet.A. Ahmed - 2011 - Analysis 71 (1):77-85.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  12. added 2016-03-12
    Suppose, Suppose.Adam Morton - 1993 - Analysis 53 (1):61 - 64.
    I give reasons stemming from the nature of narrative thinking why two-antecedent conditionals, most naturally expressed as "Suppose A. Suppose moreover B. Then C" the two antecedents play different roles. I formalise this idea with a two-dimensional similarity relation between possible worlds.
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  13. added 2016-03-11
    Indicative Versus Subjunctive in Future Conditionals.A. Morton - 2004 - Analysis 64 (4):289-293.
    I give cases where the contrast between "if Shakespeare had not written Hamlet someone else would have" and "if Shakespeare did not write Hamlet and someone else did"is found in future tense sentences. This is often denied.
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  14. added 2016-03-06
    Against the Brogaard-Salerno Stricture.Tristan Haze - 2016 - The Reasoner 10 (4):29-30.
    'It is widely agreed that contraposition, strengthening the antecedent and hypothetical syllogism fail for subjunctive conditionals', write Brogaard and Salerno in (2008: Counterfactuals and context, Analysis 68.1, 39–46). In that article they argue that the putative counterexamples to these principles are actually no threat, on the grounds that they involve a certain kind of illicit contextual shift. -/- Here I argue that this particular kind of contextual shift, if it is properly so called, is not generally illicit, and that therefore (...)
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  15. added 2014-05-28
    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 counterfactuals by (...)
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  16. added 2014-04-01
    Against Hypothetical Syllogism.Lee Walters - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (5):979-997.
    The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I consider and improve upon Morreau’s proof of the invalidity of Hypothetical Syllogism. The improved proof (...)
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  17. added 2014-04-01
    Reply to Ahmed.Lee Walters - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):123-133.
    I reply to Ahmed’s rejection (2011) of my argument (Walters 2009) that all counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents are themselves true.
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  18. added 2014-04-01
    Morgenbesser's Coin and Counterfactuals with True Components.Lee Walters - 2009 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3):365-379.
    Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to (...)
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  19. added 2014-03-31
    Can Edgington Gibbard Counterfactuals?Adam Morton - 1997 - Mind 106 (421):101-105.
    A criticism of Dorothy Edgington's attempt to make Gibbard's problem for indicative conditionals apply to counterfactuals.
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  20. added 2014-03-18
    The Entropy Theory of Counterfactuals.Douglas N. Kutach - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):82-104.
    I assess the thesis that counterfactual asymmetries are explained by an asymmetry of the global entropy at the temporal boundaries of the universe, by developing a method of evaluating counterfactuals that includes, as a background assumption, the low entropy of the early universe. The resulting theory attempts to vindicate the common practice of holding the past mostly fixed under counterfactual supposition while at the same time allowing the counterfactual's antecedent to obtain by a natural physical development. Although the theory has (...)
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  21. added 2014-03-11
    Counterfactuals: The Epistemic Analysis.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2005 - Philosophia Scientiae 9 (1):83-126.
    Ordinarily counterfactuals are seen as making statements about states of affairs, albeit ones that hold in merely possible or alternative worlds. Thus analyzed, nearly all counterfactuals turn out to be incoherent. Any counterfactual, thus analyzed, requires that there be a metaphysically (not just epistemically) possible world w where the laws are the same as here, and where almost all of the facts are the same as here. (The factual differences relate to the antecedent and consequent of the counter-factual.) But, as (...)
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  22. added 2014-03-10
    If I Were a Dry Well-Made Match.Adam Morton - 1973 - Dialogue 12 (2):322-324.
    I discuss Goodman's claim that when 'all As are Bs' is a law then the counterfactual 'if a were an A, it would be a B' is tue. I give counterexamples, and link the failure of the connection to the contrast between higher level and lower level laws.
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  23. added 2014-02-10
    Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity.Robert Williams - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
    John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong.I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne’s challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis’s first (non-chancy) proposal (...)
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  24. added 2013-07-28
    An Argument for Conjunction Conditionalization.Lee Walters & Robert Williams - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):573-588.
    Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...)
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  25. added 2013-05-06
    Of Miracles and Interventions.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):43-64.
    In Making Things Happen, James Woodward influentially combines a causal modeling analysis of actual causation with an interventionist semantics for the counterfactuals encoded in causal models. This leads to circularities, since interventions are defined in terms of both actual causation and interventionist counterfactuals. Circularity can be avoided by instead combining a causal modeling analysis with a semantics along the lines of that given by David Lewis, on which counterfactuals are to be evaluated with respect to worlds in which their antecedents (...)
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  26. added 2013-05-06
    Chancy Counterfactuals, Redux.J. Robert G. Williams - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (4):352-361.
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  27. added 2013-03-24
    A Uniform Theory of Conditionals.William B. Starr - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (6):1019-1064.
    A uniform theory of conditionals is one which compositionally captures the behavior of both indicative and subjunctive conditionals without positing ambiguities. This paper raises new problems for the closest thing to a uniform analysis in the literature (Stalnaker, Philosophia, 5, 269–286 (1975)) and develops a new theory which solves them. I also show that this new analysis provides an improved treatment of three phenomena (the import-export equivalence, reverse Sobel-sequences and disjunctive antecedents). While these results concern central issues in the study (...)
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  28. added 2011-12-03
    Introduction: Understanding Counterfactuals and Causation.Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck - 2011 - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Sarah R. Beck (eds.), Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-15.
    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. More (...)
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  29. added 2011-12-03
    Presuppositions and Antipresuppositions in Conditionals.Brian Leahy - 2011 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory:257-274.
    Abstract Utterances of counterfactual conditionals are typically attended by the information that their antecedents are false. But there is as yet no account of the source of this information that is both detailed and complete. This paper describes the problem of counterfactual antecedent falsity and argues that the problem can be addressed by appeal to an adequate account of the presuppositions of various competing conditional constructions. It argues that indicative conditionals presuppose that their antecedents are epistemically possible, while subjunctive conditionals (...)
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  30. added 2011-05-16
    DeRose on the Conditionals of Deliberation.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    I take issue with two claims of DeRose: Conditionals of deliberation must not depend on backtracking grounds. ‘Were’ed-up conditionals coincide with future-directed indicative conditionals; the only difference in their meaning is that they must not depend on backtracking grounds. I use Egan’s counterexamples to causal decision theory to contest the first and an example of backtracking reasoning by David Lewis to contest the second claim. I tentatively outline a rivaling account of ‘were’ed-up conditionals which combines features of the standard analysis (...)
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  31. added 2011-04-23
    What Zif.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    In a series of articles, David Barnett (2006, 2009, 2010) has developed a general theory of conditionals. The grand aim is to reconcile the two main rivals: a suppositional and a truth-conditional view (Barnett 2006, 521). While I confine my critical discussion to counterfactuals, I will give some hints how they might spell trouble for his suppositional view in general.
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  32. added 2010-07-25
    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 the contingent falsity (...)
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  33. added 2010-01-24
    Conditionals as Attitude Reports.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitude reports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitude reports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will win) translates into a (...)
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  34. added 2009-12-09
    Counterfactual Triviality: A Lewis-Impossibility Result for Counterfactuals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.
    I formulate a counterfactual version of the notorious ‘Ramsey Test’. Even in a weak form, this makes counterfactuals subject to the very argument that Lewis used to persuade the majority of the philosophical community that indicative conditionals were in hot water. I outline two reactions: to indicativize the debate on counterfactuals; or to counterfactualize the debate on indicatives.
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  35. added 2009-05-17
    '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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