counterfactual

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counterfactual

or

counterfactual conditional

a conditional statement, of the form ‘if a , then b’, in which the assertion is that ‘were a to have occurred, then b would have followed’, as in ‘had the Greeks lost the Battle of Marathon, then a different historical outcome from the uniquely Western route to modernity would have been the outcome’. Since the ‘antecedent’ (the first clause of the statement) in such counterfactual statements is unfulfilled, the empirical assessment of the claim involved in the ‘consequent’ (the second clause) presents some difficulties. The plausibility of such statements depends on the possibility of citing convincing supporting evidence which can justify the conditional statement.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Steglich-Petersen argues that the truth condition of a binary causal claim, called the primary counterfactual, is based on another counterfactual conditional, the secondary counterfactual, whose antecedent describes what happens in the nearest world instead of A, which explains why B does not occur.
The precative form is used rarely to express (concessive-)conditionality in OB (see Cohen 2005a: 144-60), but not counterfactual conditional ity.
A REVIEW OF CONDITIONAL SENTENCES: THE PAST HYPOTHETICAL/ COUNTERFACTUAL CONDITIONAL
The thesis concerning the origin of the species is a proposition, not a theory, because it is not stated in a way that permits counterfactual conditional analysis.
Yet, only the first two invoke counterfactual conditional reasoning, while the latter does not.
The idea here is this: Consider a counterfactual conditional A [square][right arrow] B.
Deductive reasoning with factual, possible, and counterfactual conditionals.
The representation that people build when they understand a factual indicative such as 'if Cristina takes her laptop then she goes to the conference' and a counterfactual conditional, as 'if Cristina had not taken her laptop, then she would not have gone to the conference', is the same.
The issue of how one assigns truth conditions to Dancy's "second representation", a counterfactual conditional, leads directly to the problem.
G is pretty much what we have been given to saying that any counterfactual conditional means, but we have erred: no counterfactual has that meaning.
Moreover, he argues that most of our nomic concepts (for example, the counterfactual conditional, chance, lawhood) have causal commitments, and, hence, that the concept of causation is even more fundamental to our conceptual scheme than that of lawhood.
The specific objectives are to investigate: (1) the connection between the epistemology of counterfactual conditionals and the epistemology of claims involving modal terms like possible , necessary , and can , (2) the role of the imagination in the epistemology of thought experiments in science, and (3) the cognitive architecture underlying counterfactual thinking.