In her book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality (2015), Barbara Vetter introduces a new ontological and semantical framework for modal discourse, based on potentiality. Within this framework, Vetter attempts to formulate an embryonic semantical account for counterfactual conditionals. The aim of this paper is to discuss this tentative account of counterfactuals. Being an account at such an early stage, there are many elements and issues that could be discussed, but this work will focus only on one aspect of it. The aspect in question is the treatment of would-counterfactuals, which requires further examination since Vetter only presents a could-counterfactual version of her account. If we can find acceptable truth-conditions for would-counterfactuals within Vetter’s account, this could increase the explanatory power of the potentiality framework and give us some extra reasons to consider it a suitable and adequate model for modality. The paper takes charge of applying Lewis’ interdefinability principle between could- and would-counterfactuals to Vetter’s truth-conditions for could-counterfactuals, in an attempt to develop a first version of these truth-conditions for would-counterfactuals within the potentiality framework. Even if this first version seems justified and effective, for such an account to fully work we need a deeper investigation into iterated potentiality and the process of iteration.
In her book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality (2015), Barbara Vetter introduces a new ontological framework for modal discourse, based on potentiality. Within this framework, Vetter offers various solutions and accounts for issues relating to modality, from metaphysics, to logic, to semantics. Between these “collateral” accounts, she attempts to formulate an embryonic semantical account for…
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