"If Oswald had not killed Kennedy" – Spohn on Counterfactuals

In Wolfgang Freitag, Hans Rott, Holger Sturm & Alexandra Zinke (eds.), Von Rang und Namen. Philosophical Essays in Honour of Wolfgang Spohn. Münster, Germany: Mentis. pp. 379–399 (2016)
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Wolfgang Spohn's theory of ranking functions is an elegant and powerful theory of the structure and dynamics of doxastic states. In two recent papers, Spohn has applied it to the analysis of conditionals, claiming to have presented a unified account of indicative and subjunctive (counterfactual) conditionals. I argue that his analysis fails to account for counterfactuals that refer to indirect causes. The strategy of taking the transitive closure that Spohn employs in the theory of causation is not available for counterfactuals. I have a close look at Spohn's treatment of the famous Oswald-Kennedy case in order to illustrate my points. I sketch an alternative view that seems to avoid the problems.
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