Explanatory realism and counterfactuals

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on May 15th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 9206) for a talk by Maciej Sendłak (Warsaw).

Title: Explanatory realism and counterfactuals

Abstract: In my talk, I want to propose a novel approach to the question of counterfactuals. This is grounded in two assumptions, imported from the philosophy of science. The first one has it that to explain a phenomenon is to show how it depends on something else. The second states that the correct explanation ought to be contrastive. This means that a good explanation justifies the occurrence of a phenomenon and – at the same time – excludes occurrence of some other states of affairs. I am going to argue that – together with the assumption that conditionals express a dependence relation between A and C – the above gives ground for analysis of counterfactuals. According to this proposal: “A>C” is true at the world of evaluation iff there is a relation of dependence that hold between referents of A and C, and the same relation of dependence holds in the world of evaluation.

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