Counterfactuals vs. conditional probabilities: A critical analysis of the counterfactual theory of information

Hilmi Demir
2008 Australasian Journal of Philosophy  
Cohen and Meskin [2006] recently offered a counterfactual theory of information to replace the standard probabilistic theory of information. They claim that the counterfactual theory fares better than the standard account on three grounds: first, it provides a better framework for explaining information flow properties; second, it requires a less expensive ontology; and third, because it does not refer to doxastic states of the information-receiving organism, it provides an objective basis. In
more » ... his paper, I show that none of these is really an advantage. Moreover, the counterfactual theory fails to satisfy one of the basic properties of information flow, namely the Conjunction principle. Thus, I conclude, there is no reason to give up the standard probabilistic theory for the counterfactual theory of information.
doi:10.1080/00048400701846541 fatcat:gxqrznthlbgvvkc6ecezlcbo4e