Ideas from 'Counterfactuals' by David Lewis [1973], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Counterfactuals' by Lewis,David [Blackwell 2001,0-631-22425-4]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     unexpand these ideas

10. Modality / B. Possibility / 8. Conditionals / c. Truth-function conditionals
Lewis says indicative conditionals are truth-functional
                        Full Idea: Unlike Stalnaker, Lewis holds that indicative conditionals have the truth conditions of material conditionals.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Counterfactuals [1973]) by Frank Jackson - Conditionals 'Further'
                        A reaction: Thus Lewis only uses the possible worlds account for subjunctive conditionals, where Stalnaker uses it for both. Lewis is defending the truth-functional account for the indicative conditionals.
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 9. Counterfactuals
In good counterfactuals the consequent holds in world like ours except that the antecedent is true
                        Full Idea: According to Lewis, a counterfactual holds when the consequent is true in possible worlds very like our own except for the fact that the antecedent is true.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Counterfactuals [1973]) by Paul Horwich - Lewis's Programme p.213
                        A reaction: Presumably the world being very like our own would make it unlikely that there would be anything else to cause the consequent, apart from the counterfactual antecedent.
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 4. Regularities / b. Best system theory
A law of nature is a general axiom of the deductive system that is best for simplicity and strength
                        Full Idea: A contingent generalization is a law of nature if and only if it appears as a theorem (or axiom) in each of the true deductive systems that achieves a best combination of simplicity and strength.
                        From: David Lewis (Counterfactuals [1973], 3.3)