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.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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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.
1998 "Modals in past counterfactual conditional protasis", in: Jacek Fisiak - Marcin Krygier (eds.) Advances in English historical linguistics.
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.
(16.) Along with "wish" and "regret," "rhetorical questions" also have the speaker attitude, "I know this is not the case." Yet, only the first two invoke counterfactual conditional reasoning, while the latter does not.
According to our Leibnizian semantics, a counterfactual conditional A [square][right arrow] B is true just in case B is true in the closest world in which A is true.
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.
Thus consider a typical counterfactual conditional: "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride." It is clear that this contention occurs in the setting of an enthymematic context where the following situation obtains:
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.