Synopses & Reviews
Counterfactuals is David Lewis's forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary-to-fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds. Since its original publication in 1973, it has become a classic of contemporary philosophy, and is essential reading for anyone interested in the logic and metaphysics of counterfactuals. The book also includes an appendix of related writings by Lewis.
"'Contrary-to-fact conditionals have provided logical analysts with fascinating puzzles. (This book) has a unitary theme presented clearly and attractively for the most part with only the unavoidable minimum of formal apparatus. The theme is pursued confidently and relentlessly without evasions or qualifications." Times Literary Supplement
"This is an excellent book. It combines shrewd philosophical sense with a fine technical expertise. The statement of views is concise and forthright." Kit Fine, Mind
"This essay is a virtuoso performance." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
"Beautifully and lucidly written and full of clever ideas. It contains very many philosophical insights and comparisons." J. J. C. Smart, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Counterfactuals is David Lewis' forceful presentation of and sustained argument for a particular view about propositions which express contrary to fact conditionals, including his famous defense of realism about possible worlds.
About the Author
David Lewis (1941- 2001) was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His publications include Convention (reissued by Blackwell 2002), On the Plurality of Worlds (reissued by Blackwell, 2000), Parts of Classes (1991), and of numerous articles in metaphysics and other areas. Many of his writings are available in his Collected Papers.
Table of Contents
1. An Analysis of Counterfactuals.
Variably Strict Conditionals.
The Limit Assumption.
'Might' Counterfactuals and Outer Modalities.
The Selection Operator.
The Metalinguistic Theory: Implicit Premisis.
The Metalinguistic Theory: Factual Premises.
The Metalinguistic Theory: Laws of Nature.
'When Next' and 'When Last'.
Contextually Definite Descriptions.
Derived Modal Logics.
Appendix: Related Writings by David Lewis.