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Philosophical Studies

, Volume 175, Issue 6, pp 1477–1493 | Cite as

A new future similarity objection

Article
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Abstract

The future similarity objection against David Lewis’s theory of counterfactuals re-emerges once the space-time of possible worlds is adequately represented. Given such a representation, it can be shown that a number of counterfactuals that seem clearly true, such as Kit Fine’s example ‘If Nixon had pressed the button, there would have been a nuclear holocaust’, come out false, even if determinism is assumed. Lewis’s similarity criteria can be modified in different ways to avoid the problem, but some of the modifications have problems of their own.

Keywords

Counterfactual conditionals Possible worlds Similarity David Lewis 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Luke Fenton-Glynn for advice during the inception of the project. For helpful comments and suggestions, I would also like to thank Daniel Dohrn, Karen Lewis, Beau Madison Mount, Thomas Müller, Moritz Schulz, an anonymous referee for Philosophical Studies, and audiences and workshop participants in Belgrade, Berlin, Dubrovnik, Hamburg, London, and Mainz.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyUniversität HamburgHamburgGermany

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