Authors
Nina Emery
Mount Holyoke College
Abstract
A series of recent arguments purport to show that most counterfactuals of the form if A had happened then C would have happened are not true. These arguments pose a challenge to those of us who think that counterfactual discourse is a useful part of ordinary conversation, of philosophical reasoning, and of scientific inquiry. Either we find a way to revise the semantics for counterfactuals in order to avoid these arguments, or we find a way to ensure that the relevant counterfactuals, while not true, are still assertible. I argue that regardless of which of these two strategies we choose, the natural ways of implementing these strategies all share a surprising consequence: they commit us to a particular metaphysical view about chance.
Keywords counterfactuals  chance
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12254
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,091
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Time and Chance.David Z. Albert - 2000 - Harvard University Press.
Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David K. Lewis (ed.) - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):341-344.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Chance and Determinism.Nina Emery - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
Difference-making and deterministic chance.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2215-2235.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Modal Skepticism and Counterfactual Knowledge.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):605-623.
Elusive Counterfactuals.Karen S. Lewis - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):286-313.
Possible World Semantics and True-True Counterfactuals.Lee Walters - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):322-346.
Euthanasia and Counterfactual Consent.Deborah Ruth Barnbaum - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
On Counterfactual Propositions.George G. S. Murphy - 1969 - History and Theory 9:14-38.
Embedded Counterfactuals and Possible Worlds Semantics.Charles Cross - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):665-673.
Against Counterfactual Miracles.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Review 125 (2):241-286.
Counterpossibles.Barak Krakauer - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts
Safety and the True–True Problem.Jon Cogburn & Jeffrey W. Roland - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (2):246-267.
Safety and the True–True Problem.Jeffrey W. Roland Jon Cogburn - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (2):246-267.
Quantum Counterfactuals and Locality.Robert B. Griffiths - 2012 - Foundations of Physics 42 (5):674-684.
New Foundations for Counterfactuals.Franz Huber - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2167-2193.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-11-25

Total views
146 ( #80,103 of 2,506,156 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #139,897 of 2,506,156 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes