Preemption and Probabilistic Counterfactual Theory
- ISSN: 00318116
Richard otte in "indeterminism, Counterfactuals, And causation" ("philosophy of science", 54, 1987, 45-62) reformulates the counterfactual theory of causation in probabilistic terms. The basic idea is that if the cause had not occurred the "probability" of the effect would have been different. In this paper, I argue that, Just as the traditional formulation of counterfactual theory cannot handle preemption, Preemptive causation is equally problematic for this probabilistic reformulation. The contrary-To-Fact non-Occurrence of a cause will not guarantee a change in the probability of its effect in cases of preemption or its probabilistic analogue.