Much of the work on counterfactuals done in linguistics and philosophy in the past forty years has focused on their truth conditions and entailment patterns, in sharp contrast with the literature on indicative conditionals, which has had to reckon with a cottage industry of probabilistic triviality results (starting with Lewis 1976). This is an unfortunate oversight, since intuitions about the probabilities of counterfactuals provide a window into their meaning and the role they play in thought and talk. Moritz Schulz’s book aims to address this gap.
In my review, I discuss the central puzzle animating Schulz’s discussion and his proposed solution. The puzzle stems from a plausible empirical generalization about the probabilities of counterfactuals (Schulz calls this Skyrms’s Constraint; see 78–88).