John Hawthorne (USC, ACU): Counterpart Theory and Counterfactuals

Abstract: In 1968 David Lewis famously provided a translation scheme from the language of quantified modal logic into the language of counterpart theory. His other main contribution to the logic and semantics of modality is his celebrated 1973 semantics for counterfactual conditionals. It is natural for the advocate of counterpart theory to wish to extend Lewis's 1968 translation to a language that includes the counterfactual conditional connective. Surprisingly, there has been hardly any discussion of such extensions in the literature. The only proposal we know of was briefly articulated by Lewis himself in his 1973 masterpiece. But, as far as we know, no one has noticed that this proposal wreaks havoc with central principles of the logic of counterfactuals that Lewis advocates. We make these difficulties vivid and then explore alternative extensions.

Date & time

Thu 26 Sep 2019, 3:30pm to 5:30pm


Coombs Ext Rm 1.04


John Hawthorne


School of Philosophy


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