On Counterfactual Reasoning

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Abstract
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 path-system, in which you never fully have an overview. In this way, reasoning is an activity, with its own rationale, which will be studied from the agent’s own perspective. Questions include: What are the conditions where asking that specific question, or introducing this information/assumption, etc. will count as a reasonable step or progress towards the answer of the initial question? What makes this step more reasonable than another?
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Archival date: 2017-11-08
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