, Volume 190, Issue 4, pp 681–691

Similarity and cotenability



In this paper I present some difficulties for Lewis’s and similar theories of counterfactuals, and suggest that the problem lies in the notion of absolute similarity. In order to explain the problem, I discuss the relation between Lewis’s and Goodman’s theory, and show that the two theories are not related in the way Lewis thought they were.


Counterfactuals Lewis Goodman Cotenability Absolute similarity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bennett J. (1974) Counterfactuals and possible worlds. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4: 381–402Google Scholar
  2. Cross C. B. (2006) Conditional logic and the significance of Tooley’s example. Analysis 66(4): 335–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gabbay D. M. (1972) A general theory of the conditional in terms of a ternary operator. American Philosophical Quarterly 9(3): 97–104Google Scholar
  4. Goodman N. (1947) The problem of counterfactual conditionals. Journal of Philosophy 44: 113–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Goodman N. (1991) The problem of counterfactual conditionals. In: Jackson F.Conditionals. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Lewis D. (1973) Counterfactuals. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Lewis D. (1979) Counterfactual dependence and time arrow. Nous 13: 455–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mårtensson, J. (1999). Subjunctive conditionals and Time. Ph. D. thesis, Gothenburg UniversityGoogle Scholar
  9. Tooley M. (2002) Backward causation and the Stalnaker–Lewis approach to counterfactuals. Analysis 62(3): 191–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Warmbrōd K. (1981) Counterfactuals and substitution of equivalent antecedents. Journal of Philosophical Logic 10: 267–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

Personalised recommendations