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  1. The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model.Xavier De Donato-Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo-Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different “degrees of contingency”. We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...)
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  • A New Future Similarity Objection.Thomas Kroedel - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1477-1493.
    The future similarity objection against David Lewis’s theory of counterfactuals re-emerges once the space-time of possible worlds is adequately represented. Given such a representation, it can be shown that a number of counterfactuals that seem clearly true, such as Kit Fine’s example ‘If Nixon had pressed the button, there would have been a nuclear holocaust’, come out false, even if determinism is assumed. Lewis’s similarity criteria can be modified in different ways to avoid the problem, but some of the modifications (...)
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  • What Will Be Best for Me? Big Decisions and the Problem of Inter‐World Comparisons.Peter Baumann - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):253-273.
    Big decisions in a person’s life often affect the preferences and standards of a good life which that person’s future self will develop after implementing her decision. This paper argues that in such cases the person might lack any reasons to choose one way rather than the other. Neither preference-based views nor happiness-based views of justified choice offer sufficient help here. The available options are not comparable in the relevant sense and there is no rational choice to make. Thus, ironically, (...)
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  • The Non‐Occurrence Of Events.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    What is it for an event not to occur? This is an urgent, yet under explored, question for counterfactual analyses of causation quite generally. In this paper I take a lead from Lewis in identifying two different possible standards of non-occurrence that we might adopt and I argue that we need to apply them asymmetrically: one standard for the cause, another for the effect. This is a surprising result. I then offer a contextualist refinement of the Lewis approach in light (...)
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  • Possible Worlds of Doubt.Ron Wilburn - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):259-277.
    A prominent contemporary anti-skeptical strategy, most famously articulated by Keith DeRose, aims to cage the skeptic′s doubts by contextualizing subjunctive conditional accounts of knowledge through a conversational rule of sensitivity. This strategy, I argue, courts charges of circularity by selectively invoking heavy counterfactual machinery. The reason: such invocation threatens to utilize a metric for modal comparison that is implicitly informed by judgments of epistemic sameness. This gives us reason to fear that said modal metric is selectively cherry-picked in advance to (...)
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  • The Future Similarity Objection Revisited.Ryan Wasserman - 2006 - Synthese 150 (1):57-67.
    David Lewis has long defended an analysis of counterfactuals in terms of comparative similarity of possible worlds. The purpose of this paper is to reevaluate Lewis’s response to one of the oldest and most familiar objections to this proposal, the future similarity objection.
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  • 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 of counterfactuals, and (...)
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  • The Structure of Idealization in Biological Theories: The Case of the Wright-Fisher Model. [REVIEW]Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Alfonso Arroyo Santos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):11-27.
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals that can exhibit different “degrees of contingency”. We use this idea to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, this structure explains why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful in scientific practice. For illustrative (...)
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