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Morgenbesser's Coin, Counterfactuals, and Causal versus Probabilistic Independence
Vol. 71, No. 3 (Nov., 2009), pp. 345-354
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267441
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Betting, Contrafactuals, Syntactical antecedents, Causation, Randomness, Circumstantial luck, Term weighting, Causality, Logical givens, Syntactical consequents
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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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