Ceteris paribus logic in counterfactual reasoning

Patrick Girard
Marcus Anthony Triplett

The semantics for counterfactuals due to David Lewis has been challenged on the basis of unlikely, or impossible, events. Such events may skew a given similarity order in favour of those possible worlds which exhibit them. By updating the relational structure of a model according to a ceteris paribus clause one forces out, in a natural manner, those possible worlds which do not satisfy the requirements of the clause. We develop a ceteris paribus logic for counterfactual reasoning capable of performing such actions, and offer several alternative (relaxed) interpretations of ceteris paribus. We apply this framework in a way which allows us to reason counterfactually without having our similarity order skewed by unlikely events. This continues the investigation of formal ceteris paribus reasoning, which has previously been applied to preferences, logics of game forms, and questions in decision-making, among other areas.

In R Ramanujam: Proceedings Fifteenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2015), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, June 4-6, 2015, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 215, pp. 176–193.
Published: 23rd June 2016.

ArXived at: http://dx.doi.org/10.4204/EPTCS.215.13 bibtex PDF
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