Morgenbesser's coin, counterfactuals and independence
Noordhof (Paul)
Source: Analysis 65.3, July 2005, pp. 261-263(3)
Paper - Abstract

Paper StatisticsColour-ConventionsDisclaimer

Philosophers Index Abstract

    I argue that, contrary to what Jonathan Schaffer urges, when assessing counterfactuals we should consider circumstances which match the actual circumstances in all facts probabilistically independent (rather than causally independent) of the truth of the antecedent. As a result, one reason for supposing that a counterfactual analysis of causation1 is not possible is removed. The article presents its author's approach of assessing counterfactuals by considering circumstances that match the actual circumstances in all probabilistically independent fact. Philosopher Jonathan Schaffer argues that this approach cannot deal with the case of Morgenbesser's coin. In this brief article, the author explains how his approach deals with the case of Morgenbesser's coin and argues that the situation is, in fact, the reverse. His suggestion is that one should bring forward facts that are probabilistically independent of the antecedent.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

© Theo Todman, June 2007 - Feb 2019. Please address any comments on this page to File output:
Website Maintenance Dashboard
Return to Top of this Page Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page Return to Theo Todman's Home Page