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Counterfactuals and Probability

Counterfactuals and Probability

ISBN 9780198785958
Edition 1st
Publication Date
Publisher Oxford University Press
Author(s)
Overview
Moritz Schulz explores counterfactual thought and language: what would have happened if things had gone a different way. Counterfactual questions may concern large scale derivations (what would have happened if Nixon had launched a nuclear attack) or small scale evaluations of minor derivations (what would have happened if I had decided to join a different profession). A common impression, which receives a thorough defence in the book, is that oftentimes we find it impossible to know what would have happened. However, this does not mean that we are completely at a loss: we are typically capable of evaluating counterfactual questions probabilistically: we can say what would have been likely or unlikely to happen. Schulz describes these probabilistic ways of evaluating counterfactual questions and turns the data into a novel account of the workings of counterfactual thought.

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