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Counterfactuals and historical possibility

Placek, Tomasz and Muller, Thomas (2005) Counterfactuals and historical possibility. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    We show that truth conditions for counterfactuals need not always be given in terms of a vague notion of similarity. To this end, we single out the important class of historical counterfactuals and give formally rigorous truth conditions for these counterfactuals, employing a partial ordering relation called ``comparative closeness'' that is defined in the framework of branching space-times. Among other applications, we provide a detailed analysis of counterfactuals uttered in the context of lost bets. In an appendix we compare our theory with the branching space-times based reading of counterfactuals recently proposed by Belnap.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: branching space-times, historical counterfactuals, comparative closeness, betting
    Subjects: General Issues > Causation
    General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
    Depositing User: Tomasz Placek
    Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2268
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2268

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