Reply To: Counterfactuals

  • sjahari hollands

    March 2, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for the replies Christine and L.P. Koch. For some reason I didnt get a note there were replies so this is a bit late.

    I dont think that the analytic philosophy is using counterfactuals at all. From how I understand them.

    A counterfactual statement is of two forms.

    One form of a counterfactual is something that is IMPOSSIBLE according to the laws of physics. An example of this would be a perpetual motion machine.

    Another form is to say that something is POSSIBLE according to the laws of physics.

    I cant go into a detailed discussion here but it is a fascinating area. And both Deutsch and Chirana are using this approach to find a way of arriving at a theory of entropy and the first origins of things that does NOT go back to the reductionist approach so prevalent – at least in Biology. And also in physics.

    In terms of the discussion on RH and LH, it seems to me that the LH’s specialty is to determine that things are impossible – based on the laws of logic and reductionist thinking.

    ON the other hand the RH can question that assumption and challenge the situation. Is this really IMPOSSIBLE? Is there some configuration in which such a thing becomes POSSIBLE?

    Here is a statement that in its present form seems to be a counterfactual.

    “It is IMPOSSIBLE for humankind at this point to reverse the inevitable progression of climate change. “

    Iain in one of his talks refers to Alice in Wonderland and the Red Queen who told her to practice thinking of 6 impossible things before breakfast.

    It’s a fascinating exercise.

    Like. I might think. “It’s impossible for such and such.” But after a little reflection I start to wonder – “wait a minute. Is it really impossible?”