Forthcoming, Journal of Philosophy of History
7 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2015
Date Written: September 15, 2015
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.
Keywords: counterfactual history, randomized controlled trials
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Sunstein, Cass R., Historical Explanations Always Involve Counterfactual History (September 15, 2015). Forthcoming, Journal of Philosophy of History. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2661046 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2661046