Laws, Accidental Generalities, and Counterfactual Conditionals

Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 31)


Philosophers have recognized for some time that counterfactual conditionals like
  1. (1)

    If Sam had come to Eve’s party, he would have enjoyed himself present problems. Of these, two are the most important. First A counterfactual conditional cannot be translated in the usual way by means of the horseshoe of material implication. What, then, is its logical form? Second. A counterfactual seems to describe not a fact but an unreality. Thus, in (1) a situation, namely, Sam’s coming to the party, which, it is admitted, has not happened to Sam, that is, is unreal, is further determined by another unreality, namely Sam’s enjoying himself

present problems.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyUniversity of TorontoCanada

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