Single Idea 15724

[catalogued under 10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals]

Full Idea

The subjunctive conditional has no place in an austere canonical notation for science - but that ban is less restrictive than would at first appear.

Gist of Idea

Counterfactuals have no place in a strict account of science


Willard Quine (Word and Object [1960], 46)

Book Reference

Quine,Willard: 'Word and Object' [MIT 1969], p.225

A Reaction

Idea 15723 shows what he has in mind - that what science aims for is accounts of dispositional mechanisms, which then leave talk of other possible worlds (in Lewis style) as unnecessary. I may be with Quine one this one.

Related Idea

Idea 15723 Either dispositions rest on structures, or we keep saying 'all things being equal' [Quine]