Contrastive explanations, crystal balls and the inadmissibility of historical information

Publication Year:
2014
Usage 113
Downloads 113
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11063
Author(s):
Nissan-Rozen, Ittay
conference paper description
I argue for the falsity of what I call the "Admissibility of Historical Information Thesis" (AHIT). According to the AHIT propositions that describe past events are always admissible with respect to propositions that describe future events. I first demonstrate that this demand has some counter-intuitive implications and then argue that the source of the counter-intuitiveness is a wrong understanding of the concept of chance. I also discuss the relation between the failure of the AHIT and the existence of contrastive explanations for chancy events (which David Lewis denied).