Counterfactual Conditionals: Orthodoxy and Its Challenges [Paperback]

Daniel Dohrn(Editor)

ISBN: 9788869773037 | Published by: Mimesis International | Series: Literature | Language | Year of Publication: 2021 | 225p, H8.2 x W5.5,
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order

Counterfactual Conditionals


In the first part of this book, the development of the standard account of counterfactuals, i.e. conditionals of the form ‘If A had been the case, then B would have been the case’ is summarized. In the standard account, a counterfactual is true if the then-sentence is true in all closest worlds in which the if-sentence is true. Closeness is spelled out by an ordering of worlds and by their similarities. In the second part of this book instead, challenges to the standard account are discussed: Firstly, defending the standard logics for counterfactuals. Secondly, discussing exemplary doubts whether conditionals have truth conditions. Thirdly, inquiring into the interaction between truth and probability of counterfactuals. Then, problems with the similarity ordering and with the interaction between counterfactuals and normalcy conditions are explored. Finally, the book closes with an elaboration of the peculiarities of future-directed counterfactuals.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Counterfactual Conditionals in the Philosophy of Language
1. The Basics
1.1. Goodman and the Problem of Cotenability
1.2. Minimal Difference/Divergence/Departure: The Stalnaker–Lewis Semantics
1.2.1. Stalnaker
1.2.2. Sobel and Similarity: Lewis
1.2.3. Orthodoxy à la Kratzer
2. Challenges to Orthodoxy
2.1. Logics
2.2. Challenging Truth–Conditions: Gibbard Cases
2.3. Probabilities
2.3.1. Proposals in the Literature Schulz’s Arbitrariness Account Barnett’s Suppositional Account
2.3.2. A New Proposal: Non–Maximality
2.4 Problems with Similarity
2.4.1. Morgenbesser Case
2.4.2. World Convergence Made Easy: The Future Similarity Objection Elga Worlds Bennett Worlds
2.5. Typicality
2.6. Will and Were
3. Conclusion

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