Questions tagged [counterfactuals]

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Existence of counterfactuals (looking for libertarian free will perspective)

Counterfactuals are events that may occur, but often don't. Such a concept tends to accompany the libertarian free will position, since if there is a free choice among alternatives, then this ...
yters's user avatar
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Quid Accidit? Quid Non Accidit?

We seem to be obsessed by what happened. Trump as president, happened! Moon landing, happened! Buddha died, happened! What about(ism) things that didn't happen? Are they - nonevents - as opposed to ...
Agent Smith's user avatar
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Is the nature of morality counterfactual?

I know that just because some action or state of affairs is morally right, that does not mean it will actually happen. So, does that mean morality is counterfactual in nature? Or am I misunderstanding ...
user107952's user avatar
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Is imaginative resistance evidence against, or for, moral fictionalism?

There's an entry in the SEP called "Imaginative Resistance" which goes over an account of a problem with our ability to entertain moral counterfactuals: The phenomenon of “imaginative ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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A question about David Lewis's refutation of taking possibility as consistency

I’m reading a chapter from David Lewis’s counterfactuals. He says something which I’m confused about, wondering if any of you guys can explain what he's saying... “ We might take…. ‘Possibly P’ [to ...
zzz's user avatar
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Does counterpossible reasoning limit the value of using folk intuitions as a parameter in conceptual analysis?

It's too long to quote as well as I'd like, but the section on moral responsibility in the SEP article on empirical moral psychology includes as an example: ... Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer and ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
3 votes
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Can one determine the meaning and truth value of counterfactual statements without invoking the existence of possible worlds?

Usually, philosophers explain the meaning and truth value of counterfactual statements using possible world semantics. However, that approach requires one to accept the existence of possible worlds. ...
user107952's user avatar
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How do philosophers answer the following question about a counterfactual notion of free will?

So let's assume that free will requires the ability to have done the opposite. Suppose we abstract from the world (and from our mind) and can reproduce an event in the same conditions as given ...
random_user's user avatar
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Are humans still bipedal if a child is born without legs? [closed]

I am aware of a type philosophical argument that relies on a single counterexample to falsify an absolute statement: All swans are white. But here is a black swan. Your claim is false. But I have ...
user avatar
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Value from arbitrary restriction vs value from sharing

Let's take a simplifying example to illustrate two opposite worldviews: Some people see value in intangible things when access to these things is restricted as if sharing was leading to a value loss: ...
Vincent's user avatar
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What is 'Ability to Do Otherwise'?

Many times in discussions elsewhere and in answers here, certain distinctions and claims hinge on Ability to Do Otherwise. However, whether those distinctions are meaningful or claims likely or able ...
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Lewis's truth condition for counterfactuals

According to SEP, Lewis's theory of counterfactual conditionals defines truth for counterfactuals as follows: [...] the truth condition for the counterfactual “If A were (or had been) the case, C ...
Rainer_Zoufal's user avatar
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Lewis's Counterfactual theory of conditionals

I'm starting to read Lewis' theory of counterfactuals. In his 1973 book, he specifies on page 10-11: "The left-hand counterfactuls make trounle for the theory that the counterfactual is a strict ...
PwNzDust's user avatar
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According to utilitarianism, are the only moral actions the ones that maximize utility? What about actions that increase utility, but not maximally?

Whenever I look at a definition of utilitarianism, what I see is that it only seems to prescribe actions that maximize utility. Suppose that, for a given junction, you have a set of possible actions ...
Bridgeburners's user avatar
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Counterfactual truth condition

I've read somewhere that sentences of the form "If P were the case, then Q would be the case" should be interpreted in the following way (I write P>Q to abbreviate the counterfactual ...
PwNzDust's user avatar
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Why does Nozick rely on closest possible world in his tracking theory?

According to the truth-tracking theory of Nozick, S knows that P iff (1) P is True, (2) S believes that P, (3) If P were not True, S would not believe that P, and (4) If P were True, S would believe ...
Abdul Muhaymin's user avatar
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1 answer
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Counterfactuals in Premises for Arguments

Can counterfactuals in premises make an argument sound and valid? I understand that soundness requires both validity and true premises whilst validity requires the premises to follow to the conclusion....
farce's user avatar
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What is the theory of defining consciousness by the ability to use counterfactuals called?

I'm aware there are a number of ways of defining if something is conscious or sentient. Such as the ability to experience qualia, or the ability to be aware you're experiencing qualia. Another theory ...
Simon K's user avatar
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Does denying the Limit Assumption in counterfactual logic lead to contradiction?

According to the similarity semantics for counterfactuals, a counterfactual A > C is true iff on the most similar class of worlds to the actual world (or any given world the counterfactual's truth ...
Daniel Prendergast's user avatar