|Dependence: Question whether statements, phenomena, beliefs, attitudes, actions are influenced causally or otherwise by other statements, beliefs, events, actions etc. and whether this influence is indispensable for their realization. See also counterfactuals, absoluteness.|
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Functional dependence/Counterfactual conditional/Lewis/Bigelow/Pargetter: For example, an icon on the screen obeys the movements of a joystick. We formulate this with counterfactual conditionals.
Counterfactual dependence: is expressed by a series of counterfactual conditionals:
p1 would> be q1
p2 would be> q2
pi would be > would be qi
E.g. Joystick: the four directions p1 - p4. There can also be an infinite series of alternatives. E.g. Acceleration.
Px would be > would be q f(x)
Natural laws/Bigelow/Pargetter. Many are in reality equations, which together with initial conditions contain series of counterfactual conditionals expressing counterfactual dependence.
Counterfactual conditionals/natural laws/Bigelow/Pargetter: the counterfactual conditionals are thus in a connection with the laws of nature. It may be that e.g. the joystick does not work properly. Nobody would come to the idea to say that the movement of the icon is legally related to the stick. This only happens when the device is in good condition.
Solution/Bigelow/Pargetter: With the establishment of the series of counterfactual conditionals, we set up only conditions for laws.
Counterfactual dependence/Bigelow/Pargetter: (series of counterfactual conditionals) provides indirect information about laws. And thus provide information about causes. And ultimately, why explanations.
p1 would be > would be q1
p2 would be > would be q2
p3 would be > would be q3
p4 would be > would be q4
Let p3 be true and q3 true. Then we can say that q3 is true because p3 is true. The icon moves in this direction because the stick has been moved in this direction.
In the context of the alternatives we can also say q3 is true instead of q1, q2, or q4.
Why Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: E.g. a priest asked a bank robber why he was robbing banks - "Because there is the money".
Explanations: often serve to exclude alternatives.
Objectivity/explanation/objective/Bigelow/Pargetter: what is objective is whether counterfactual conditionals are true or false in a given row (expressing the counterfactual dependence).
Why-Questions/Context/Counterfactual dependence/Explanation/Bigelow/Pargetter: thus, the counterfactual dependence also takes into account the context dependency in the case of why explanations.
Why explanation: but is limited to prominent possibilities.
Counterfactual Conditional/Bigelow/Pargetter: restrict the laws
Laws: restrict the causes.
J. Bigelow, R. Pargetter
Science and Necessity Cambridge 1990