Historical explanations are a form of counterfactual history. To offer an explanation of what happened, historians have to identify causes, and whenever they identify causes, they immediately conjure up a counterfactual history, a parallel world. No one doubts that there is a great deal of distance between science fiction novelists and the world’s great historians, but along an important dimension, they are playing the same game.Download the essay from SSRN at the link.
September 24, 2015
Historical Explanations and Counterfactual History
Cass R. Sunstein, Harvard Law School, is publishing Historical Explanations Always Involve Counterfactual History in the Journal of Philosophy of History. Here is the abstract.