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Morgenbesser's Coin, Counterfactuals, and Causal versus Probabilistic Independence

Chiwook Won
Erkenntnis (1975-)
Vol. 71, No. 3 (Nov., 2009), pp. 345-354
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267441
Page Count: 10
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Morgenbesser's Coin, Counterfactuals, and Causal versus Probabilistic Independence
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Abstract

It is widely held that, as Morgenbesser's case is usually taken to show, considerations of causal or probabilistic dependence should enter into the evaluation of counterfactuals. This paper challenges that idea. I present a modified version of Morgenbesser's case and show how probabilistic approaches to counterfactuals are in serious trouble. Specifically, I show how probabilistic approaches run into a dilemma in characterizing probabilistic independence. The modified case also illustrates a difficulty in defining causal independence. I close with a Suggestion for a strategy to handle this difficulty.

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