counterfactual

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

counter- +‎ factual

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

counterfactual

  1. Contrary to the facts; untrue.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

counterfactual (plural counterfactuals)

  1. A claim, hypothesis, or other belief that is contrary to the facts.
  2. (philosophy) A conditional statement in which the conditional clause is false, as "If I had arrived on time . . .".[1][2]
    • 1952, B. J. Diggs, "VI.—Counterfactual Conditionals," Mind, vol. 61, no. 244, page 513:
      In recent years there has been increasing discussion of the "problem of counterfactuals". One way of formulating this problem is as follows: "What is meant when one asserts a conditional statement, the antecedent of which is contrary to fact?"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "counterfactual" in A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names (Garth Kemerling, 1997-2002)
  2. ^ Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)