Fact Fiction And Forecast: A Counterfactual Analysis

2008 Words9 Pages
The problem of counterfactuals has been an ongoing problem in the scientific community that has drawn great attention because of their failure to comply with the laws of logic while still providing us with satisfactory outcomes. There are many different types of challenging counterfactuals and each present their own unique and difficult problems. The various types of counterfactuals are explained by Nelson Goodman in his book "Fact Fiction and Forecast", and there is specific a type named "counteridenticals" which draws my attention. The explanation which Goodman gives for the problem of counteridenticals seems to be flawed in my view, and I interpret the situation in a very different way. In this paper, I will argue why the counteridenticals…show more content…
With this translation they both somehow have the same identity but only the qualities of one of the individuals. This is because of the way he states his explanation. He does not say that the new identity lived in two different times, he only states one time period for both examples (I will touch on this interesting point later in the paper). But, If this were the case that Goodman was Caesar, this would have to mean that Goodman entered the body of Julius Caesar, and it would have be true that he lived in the first century because he would have no longer existed in the twentieth century, but it would also still be true that he did live in the twentieth century because he is himself as well. This sort of statement is a contradiction because it is stating that Goodman is himself (in the twentieth century) and at the same time Caesar in the first century, and that Julius Caesar is in fact two people at in two times. Following my interpretation, the antecedent can be translated into logic by the statement (X=Y)∧(X=¬X)∧(Y=¬Y) instead of the simpler original statement X=Y. When he says the opposite example of "If Julius Caesar were I, he would be alive in the twentieth century", this would imply the opposite of the prior statement and imply that…show more content…
This relatable example will help show a what people actually mean when using the statement, which makes it logical. Instead of saying that the statement is a contradicting counteridentical with X=Y in the antecedent, what is intended to be said is not a counteridentical at all. What is meant is that you are replacing X for Y, which is far off from a counteridentical. I do not believe it is ever meant to state that the two subjects are equal to one another. When you are giving advice to someone through this expression you do not mean that you are both yourself and the other person, what you mean is that you take the spot of the other person in the situation. If person X were person Y, then X would be inserted into the logical expression in the spot of Y and all other components of the situation would be held constant. I would also argue that that the flipped antecedent has nothing to do with the original statement in this format and they should not be compared to one
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