One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Relating to or expressing what has not happened or is not the case.
- ‘Concerning ordinary physical objects, it is easy to imagine counterfactual cases where questions of identity become problematic.’
- ‘I also raise some questions concerning conceptual priority, and the issue of whether counterfactual analyses of causation are compatible with the view that causal relations are purely objective.’
- ‘This is to provide a sort of counterfactual analysis of the continued existence of unperceived objects.’
- ‘My conclusion, then, has to do with other situations of enquiry than this one, often spoken of as counterfactual situations.’
- ‘But to generate knowledge independently of experience, a priori warrants must produce warranted true belief in counterfactual situations where experiences are different.’
A counterfactual conditional statement (e.g. If kangaroos had no tails, they would topple over)
- ‘Recent attempts to analyze causation in terms of probabilistic counterfactuals have become quite intricate; see for example Noordhof.’
- ‘Such a semantics states truth conditions for counterfactuals in terms of relations among possible worlds.’
- ‘The moral to be drawn is that causation may imply that certain counterfactuals hold, but the holding of counterfactuals is not enough to show causation.’
- ‘But it may strike us as being far from natural to say that all of these counterfactuals are true.’
- ‘So counterfactuals are not cases of straightforward logical implication.’
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