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Morgenbesser’s Coin

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2021

Yael Loewenstein*
Affiliation:
University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract

Before a fair, indeterministic coin is tossed, Lucky, who is causally isolated from the coin-tossing mechanism, declines to bet on heads. The coin lands heads. The consensus is that the following counterfactual is true:

(M:) If Lucky had bet heads, he would have won the bet.

It is also widely believed that to rule (M) true, any plausible semantics for counterfactuals must invoke causal independence. But if that’s so, the hope of giving a reductive analysis of causation in terms of counterfactuals is undermined. Here I argue that there is compelling reason to question the assumption that (M) is true.

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Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Canadian Journal of Philosophy

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