The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Counterfactuals

  • Donald N. McCloskey
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_631

Abstract

Counterfactuals are what ifs, thought experiments, Gedankenexperimenten, alternatives to actual history; they imagine what would have happened to an economy if, contrary to fact, some present condition were changed; in the philosophical literature therefore they are known also as ‘contrary-to-fact conditionals’.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald N. McCloskey
    • 1
  1. 1.