Erkenntnis

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 79–85

COUNTERFACTUALS WITH TRUE COMPONENTS

  • Alan Penczek
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005387521361

Cite this article as:
Penczek, A. Erkenntnis (1997) 46: 79. doi:10.1023/A:1005387521361

Abstract

One criticism of David Lewis's account of counterfactuals is that it sometimes assigns the wrong truth-value to a counterfactual when both antecedent and consequent happen to be true. Lewis has suggested a possible remedy to this situation, but commentators have found this to be unsatisfactory. I suggest an alternative solution which involves a modification of Lewis's truth conditions, but which confines itself to the resources already present in his account. This modification involves the device of embedding one counterfactual within another. On the revised set of truth conditions, counterfactuals with true components are sometimes true and sometimes false, in a way that is more in keeping with our intuitive judgments about such statements.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Penczek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreU.S.A

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