Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Counterfactual conditional: the counterfactual conditional is equivalent to unreal conditional sentences. Conditionals, in which a fact is mentioned in the antecedent, which is not the case. If A were the case, B would have been the case. Counterfactual conditionals are needed because of the indeterminacy of pointing. One cannot unequivocally single out a certain element of a situation. The counterfactual conditional tells us which element would have had to be different in order for a process under examination to have a different outcome.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

David K. Lewis on Counterfactual Conditionals - Dictionary of Arguments

V 5
Counterfactual Conditional/Co.Co./Lewis: variably strict conditional: if there are closer possible worlds, disregard the more distant ones.
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V 5f
Counterfactual conditionals/Negation/Lewis: from "would" through "could" (not): with logical antecedent and negated consequent - from "could": with "would" with the same A and negated consequent.
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V 10
Counterfactual conditionals:
Analysis 0: A were>>would C is true in world i iff C is true every A-World, so that __".
Analysis 1: A were>>would C is true in world i iff C is true in the (accessible) A-world closest to i if there is one.
A were>>would C is true in the world i iff C i is true in every (accessible) A-World closest to i.
Analysis 1 1/2: A were>>would C is true in the world i iff C is true in a specific, arbitrarily selected (accessible) A-World closest to i.
Analysis 3: A were>>would C is true in the world i if a (accessible) AC-World is closer to i than any A~C-world.
"Def A were>>could C is true in i iff for every (accessible) A~C-world there is an AC-world, which is at least as close to i, and if there are (accessible) A-worlds.
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V 8
Counterfactual conditionals/Negation: here: through "could" in the rear part - E.g.
~(A were>>would C) ↔ A were>>could ~C.
((s) could = not necessarily"). - That will do for
Analysis 2: ... true in every next possible world ...- then Bizet/Verdi: not necessarily French and not necessarily non-French... etc. - "all true" false: not necessarily French-and-Italian...- that is ok.
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V 14
Definition counterfactual conditionals: = variably strict conditional; i.e. if there is a closer possible world, disregard the more distant ones.
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V 18
Counterfactual Conditional: I use it when the antecedent is probably wrong - Counterfactual Conditionals are more like the material conditional - with true antecedent are only true if the consequent is true - Problem: the Counterfactual Conditional with true antecedent are difficult to determine - they are in fact inappropriate! - Assuming someone unknowingly expressed such: - then both are convincing:
a) A, ~C, ergo ~(A were>>would C: wrong, because A but not C,
b) A, C, ergo A were>>would C.: true, because A and in fact C- Important argument: this depends on the adequacy of "because".
Lewis: I think a) is more appropriate (should be assumend to be true) - Definition centering assumption: is thus weakened: every world is self-accessible and at least so similar to itself as any other world is with it - so a) is valid, but b) is invalid. - Centering assumption: if it was violated, worlds which deviate in a neglected way would count the same as the actual world).
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V 18
Actual world/Counterfactual conditionals: if you want to distinguish the actual world in Counterfactual Conditionals, you can do that by expanding the comparative similarity of possible worlds so that they also include certain impossible worlds where not too impossible antecedents are true - Vs: but they are even worse than the impossible borderline worlds.
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V 25
Counterfactual conditionals/Axioms:.. system C1 the Counterfactual Conditional implies the implication "were A>>would B. >. A>B" (s) That is the Counterfactual Conditional is stronger than the implication - AB > were A>>would B. - that is, from the conjunction follows the counterfactual conditional.
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V 62
Counterfactual conditional: needs similarity between worlds to be comparable.
Analysis 1/A1: (VsLewis) without similarity - counterfactual dependence/Lewis: always causal and thus consisting mostly in chronological order.
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V 62
Counterfactual conditional: antecedent normally assumed to be wrong - with assumed true antecedent.
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V 95/96
Counterfactual conditional: Advantage: not truth-functionally established - either both antecedent and consequent or neither applies in a possible world.
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V 179
Counterfactual conditional: are not transitive. - Therefore there is no specific course of increase or decrease of probability through a causal chain.
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V 284
Backwards/Counterfactual conditional: there is counterfactual dependence in the backward direction, but no causal dependency: false "if the effect had been different, the cause would have been something else".
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V 288
Probabilistic counterfactual conditional/Lewis: Form: if A were the case, there would be this and this chance for B.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Lewis I
David K. Lewis
Die Identität von Körper und Geist Frankfurt 1989

Lewis I (a)
David K. Lewis
An Argument for the Identity Theory, in: Journal of Philosophy 63 (1966)
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (b)
David K. Lewis
Psychophysical and Theoretical Identifications, in: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1972)
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis I (c)
David K. Lewis
Mad Pain and Martian Pain, Readings in Philosophy of Psychology, Vol. 1, Ned Block (ed.) Harvard University Press, 1980
In
Die Identität von Körper und Geist, , Frankfurt/M. 1989

Lewis II
David K. Lewis
"Languages and Language", in: K. Gunderson (Ed.), Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. VII, Language, Mind, and Knowledge, Minneapolis 1975, pp. 3-35
In
Handlung, Kommunikation, Bedeutung, Georg Meggle, Frankfurt/M. 1979

Lewis IV
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd I New York Oxford 1983

Lewis V
David K. Lewis
Philosophical Papers Bd II New York Oxford 1986

Lewis VI
David K. Lewis
Convention. A Philosophical Study, Cambridge/MA 1969
German Edition:
Konventionen Berlin 1975

LewisCl
Clarence Irving Lewis
Collected Papers of Clarence Irving Lewis Stanford 1970

LewisCl I
Clarence Irving Lewis
Mind and the World Order: Outline of a Theory of Knowledge (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) 1991


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-05-25
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