About the Basis for the Debate of Counterpossibles


According to the most popular (so-called “orthodox”) theories, counterfactuals with impossible antecedents are vacuously true. Critiques of this view argue that contrary to this, we tend to consider only some of them true and others to be false. In his recent paper (Counterpossibles) Timothy Williamson has ingeniously explained the motivations for the orthodox view and argued that although there are some heuristic reasons that may suggest the plausibility of the unorthodox view, they are fallible. The most important of Williamson’s arguments is that the unorthodox interpretation is inconsistent with the heuristic assumption that supposedly motivates this very view. The aim of this paper is to consider Williamson’s critique and to support the unorthodox approach towards counterpossibles. In order to do so, we argue in favor of the modified version of the heuristic assumption.

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