Reply To: Counterfactuals

  • L.P. Koch

    March 1, 2023 at 8:22 am

    I haven’t read the book you suggested, but I would say that to the degree that counterfactual thinking jump-starts our imagination, cuts through some ingrained presuppositions, and is based on imagination and intuition, it can be helpful. Like: suppose there is no hard line between our minds and nature? Suppose that causality does not always require physical contact? Things like that.

    However, to my mind, analytic philosophy has entangled itself too heavily in counterfactual scenarios (“Mary has grown up in a black-and-white world”) and related ideas such as logical necessity vs. physical necessity. It really can get quite bizarre and often seems more akin to the hyper-abstract (and hyper-unreal) fantasy-world of the left hemisphere.