Towards Subject Matters for Counterpossibles


subject matter
subject-predicate subject matters
atom-based subject matters
way-based subject matters



In this paper, I raise the problem of dealing with counterpossible conditionals for theories of subject matter. I argue that existing accounts of subject matter need to be revised and extended to be able to a) provide reasonable (potentially non-degenerate) verdicts about what counterpossibles are about, b) explain the intuition that counterpossibles are in some sense about what would happen if the antecedent were true, and c) explain in what sense counterpossibles can be about individuals. I sketch how one could extend atom-based and way-based theories of subject matters to handle the problem. Then, I raise the problem that it might be desirable for a theory of subject matter to prevent the inference that certain counterpossibles are about the kinds of things that they seem to mention.



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