BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    On Lewis, Schaffer and the non-reductive evaluation of counterfactuals

    Northcott, Robert (2009) On Lewis, Schaffer and the non-reductive evaluation of counterfactuals. Theoria 75 (4), pp. 336-343. ISSN 1755-2567.

    Full text not available from this repository.

    Abstract

    Jonathan Schaffer (2004) proposes an ingenious amendment to David Lewis's semantics for counterfactuals. This amendment explicitly invokes the notion of causal independence, thus giving up Lewis's ambitions for a reductive counterfactual account of causation. But in return, it rescues Lewis's semantics from extant counterexamples. I present a new counterexample that defeats even Schaffer's amendment. Further, I argue that a better approach would be to follow the causal modelling literature and evaluate counterfactuals via an explicit postulated causal structure. This alternative approach easily resolves the new counterexample, as well as all the previous ones. Up to now, its perceived drawback relative to Lewis's scheme has been its non-reductiveness. But since the same drawback applies equally to Schaffer's amended scheme, this becomes no longer a point of comparative disadvantage.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 14:56
    Last Modified: 20 Nov 2014 14:56
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/11075

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    0Downloads
    159Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item