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The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence

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A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called past hypothesis. Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past hypothesis when evaluating counterfactuals. In this article, I argue that Albert’s account misconstrues the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence.
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Title: The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence
Description:
A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation.
The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence.
But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called past hypothesis.
Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past hypothesis when evaluating counterfactuals.
In this article, I argue that Albert’s account misconstrues the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence.

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