Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 16 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article shows that counterfactuals can be used along with case studies to make inferences, although strong theories are needed for this. The article also argues that game theory is one approach that provides this kind of theory because a game explicitly models all of the actors' options including those possibilities that are not chosen. The article then indicates that any counterfactual argument requires a detailed and explicit description of the alternative antecedent which is plausible and involves a minimal rewrite of history, and suggests that one of the strengths of game theory is its explicitness about alternatives. The validity of counterfactual arguments is assessed in explaining cases or testing theoretical propositions. Counterfactuals should change as few aspects of the real world as possible in order to isolate their causal effects.

Keywords: counterfactuals, case studies, game theory, counterfactual arguments

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.