1. bookVolume 22 (2019): Issue 1 (December 2019)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1647-659X
First Published
01 Mar 2016
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Should Special Science Laws Be Written into the Semantics of Counterfactuals?

Published Online: 03 Mar 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 22 (2019) - Issue 1 (December 2019)
Page range: 86 - 108
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1647-659X
First Published
01 Mar 2016
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Adam Elga has presented an anti-thermodynamic process as a counterexample to Lewis’s default semantics for counterfactuals. The outstanding reaction of Jonathan Schaffer and Boris Kment is revisionary. It sacrifices Lewis’s aim of defining causation in terms of counterfactual dependence. Lewis himself suggested an alternative: «counter-entropic funnybusiness» should make for dissimilarity. But how is this alternative to be spelled out? I discuss a recent proposal: include special science laws, among them the laws of thermodynamics. Although the proposal fails, it serves to uncover the limits of Elga’s example.

Keywords

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