Conditions for Backtracking with Counterfactual Conditionals

Jung-Ho HanBrown University
William Jimenez-LealUniversidad de Los Andes
Steve SlomanBrown University

Abstract

Counterfactual conditionals concern relations in other possible worlds. Most of these possible worlds refer to how a situation would have unfolded forward from a counterfactual assumption. In some cases, however, reasoning goes backward from the assumption, a phenomenon that is called backtracking. In the current study, we propose that people backtrack if and only if doing so will make a counterfactual claim true in the alternative world. We present evidence to support the proposal

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