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dc.contributor.advisorHorgan, Terryen
dc.contributor.authorLoewenstein, Yael Rebecca*
dc.creatorLoewenstein, Yael Rebeccaen
dc.date.accessioned2017-09-25T18:30:18Z
dc.date.available2017-09-25T18:30:18Z
dc.date.issued2017
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/625614
dc.description.abstractIt is near-consensus among those currently working on the semantics of counterfactuals that the correct treatment of counterfactuals (whatever it is) must invoke causal independence in order to rule a particular set of seemingly true counterfactuals – including a famous one called Morgenbesser's Coin (MC) – true. But if we must analyze counterfactuals in terms of causation, this rules out giving a reductive account of causation in terms of counterfactuals, and is, as such, a serious blow to the Humean hope of reducing causation to counterfactual dependence. This dissertation is composed of three self-standing articles. In the first article I argue that counterfactuals like MC are false contrary to appearances; as is the thesis that the correct semantics of counterfactuals must appeal to causal independence. In the second article I argue that there are important, widely-held assumptions about difference-making and its relationship to causation which are false, and which may underlie some of the remaining, most threatening objections to the counterfactual analysis of causation. In the final article I discuss the puzzle of reverse Sobel sequences – an alleged problem for the classic Lewis-Stalnaker semantics for counterfactuals. I argue that none of the extant approaches to the problem are right, and defend a novel solution to the puzzle. If I am correct, reverse Sobel sequences do not threaten the classic analysis. They do, however, give additional evidence for the thesis, forcefully defended by Alan Hájek, that most non-probabilistic 'would'-counterfactuals are false. This motivates placing a stronger emphasis on trying to understand probabilistic counterfactuals first and foremost.
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.subjectCausationen
dc.subjectCounterfactualsen
dc.subjectDavid Lewisen
dc.subjectDifference-Makingen
dc.subjectMorgenbesser's Coinen
dc.titleCounterfactuals Without Causation, Probabilistic Counterfactuals and the Counterfactual Analysis of Causationen_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
dc.contributor.committeememberHorgan, Terryen
dc.contributor.committeememberComesaña, Juanen
dc.contributor.committeememberSartorio, Carolinaen
dc.contributor.committeememberTurner, Jasonen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophyen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
refterms.dateFOA2018-08-15T18:22:36Z
html.description.abstractIt is near-consensus among those currently working on the semantics of counterfactuals that the correct treatment of counterfactuals (whatever it is) must invoke causal independence in order to rule a particular set of seemingly true counterfactuals – including a famous one called Morgenbesser's Coin (MC) – true. But if we must analyze counterfactuals in terms of causation, this rules out giving a reductive account of causation in terms of counterfactuals, and is, as such, a serious blow to the Humean hope of reducing causation to counterfactual dependence. This dissertation is composed of three self-standing articles. In the first article I argue that counterfactuals like MC are false contrary to appearances; as is the thesis that the correct semantics of counterfactuals must appeal to causal independence. In the second article I argue that there are important, widely-held assumptions about difference-making and its relationship to causation which are false, and which may underlie some of the remaining, most threatening objections to the counterfactual analysis of causation. In the final article I discuss the puzzle of reverse Sobel sequences – an alleged problem for the classic Lewis-Stalnaker semantics for counterfactuals. I argue that none of the extant approaches to the problem are right, and defend a novel solution to the puzzle. If I am correct, reverse Sobel sequences do not threaten the classic analysis. They do, however, give additional evidence for the thesis, forcefully defended by Alan Hájek, that most non-probabilistic 'would'-counterfactuals are false. This motivates placing a stronger emphasis on trying to understand probabilistic counterfactuals first and foremost.


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