Logical Theory Choice

The Case of Vacuous Counterfactuals

  • Graham Priest Philosophy Department, Graduate Center, CUNY


There is at present a certain dispute about counterfactuals taking place. What is at issue is whether counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents are all true. Some hold that such counterfactuals are vacuously true, appearances notwithstanding. Let us call such people vacuists. Others hold that some counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents are true; some are false: it just depends on their contents. Let us call such people non-vacuists. As a notable representative of the vacuists, I will take Tim Williamson. On the other side, I will take the position defended by Berto, French, Priest, and Ripley. I will argue (unsurprisingly) that the better choice is Non-Vacuism. That, however, is a subsidiary aim of this paper. The main point is to illustrate the method of theory-choice.


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How to Cite
PRIEST, Graham. Logical Theory Choice. The Australasian Journal of Logic, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 7, p. 283-297, nov. 2019. ISSN 1448-5052. Available at: <https://ojs.victoria.ac.nz/ajl/article/view/5917>. Date accessed: 24 jan. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.26686/ajl.v16i7.5917.