What Should I Believe About What Would Have Been the Case?

Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (1):81-110 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The question I am addressing in this paper is the following: how is it possible to empirically test, or confirm, counterfactuals? After motivating this question in Section 1, I will look at two approaches to counterfactuals, and at how counterfactuals can be empirically tested, or confirmed, if at all, on these accounts in Section 2. I will then digress into the philosophy of probability in Section 3. The reason for this digression is that I want to use the way observable absolute and relative frequencies, two empirical notions, are used to empirically test, or confirm, hypotheses about objective chances, a metaphysical notion, as a role-model. Specifically, I want to use this probabilistic account of the testing of chance hypotheses as a role-model for the account of the testing of counterfactuals, another metaphysical notion, that I will present in Sections 4 to 8. I will conclude by comparing my proposal to one non-probabilistic and one probabilistic alternative in Section 9.
Reprint years
2015
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
HUBWSI
Revision history
Archival date: 2014-07-09
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Causality.Pearl, Judea
Causation, Prediction, and Search.Spirtes, Peter; Glymour, Clark & Scheines, Richard
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Hitchcock, Christopher & Pearl, Judea

View all 63 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ranking Theory.Huber, Franz

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2014-06-02

Total views
195 ( #19,442 of 45,595 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
21 ( #32,549 of 45,595 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.