Definition of counterfactual in English:

counterfactual

Line breaks: coun¦ter|fac¦tual
Pronunciation: /ˌkaʊntəˈfaktʃʊəl
 
, -tjʊəl/
Philosophy

adjective

  • Relating to or expressing what has not happened or is not the case.
    More example sentences
    • But to generate knowledge independently of experience, a priori warrants must produce warranted true belief in counterfactual situations where experiences are different.
    • I also raise some questions concerning conceptual priority, and the issue of whether counterfactual analyses of causation are compatible with the view that causal relations are purely objective.
    • Concerning ordinary physical objects, it is easy to imagine counterfactual cases where questions of identity become problematic.

noun

Back to top  
  • A counterfactual conditional statement (e.g. If kangaroos had no tails, they would topple over).
    More example sentences
    • Such a semantics states truth conditions for counterfactuals in terms of relations among possible worlds.
    • Recent attempts to analyze causation in terms of probabilistic counterfactuals have become quite intricate; see for example Noordhof.
    • The moral to be drawn is that causation may imply that certain counterfactuals hold, but the holding of counterfactuals is not enough to show causation.

More definitions of counterfactual

Definition of counterfactual in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space