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Analogies and TheoriesFormal Models of Reasoning$
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Itzhak Gilboa, Larry Samuelson, and David Schmeidler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738022

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738022.001.0001

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The Predictive Role of Counterfactuals

The Predictive Role of Counterfactuals

Chapter:
(p.163) 6 The Predictive Role of Counterfactuals
Source:
Analogies and Theories
Author(s):

Itzhak Gilboa

Larry Samuelson

David Schmeidler

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738022.003.0006

This chapter extends a model of belief formation that encompasses counterfactuals. In the context of this model, the chapter asks how counterfactuals can be used for prediction. It develops the model based on the unified model of induction presented in Gilboa, Samuelson, and Schmeidler (2010). It then deals with prediction with the aid of counterfactuals, showing that counterfactuals cannot add anything to a logically omniscient agent's predictive ability. Next, the chapter discusses the extent to which counterfactuals can be valuable in enhancing the prediction of boundedly rational agents.

Keywords:   belief formation, counterfactuals, prediction, rational agents, induction, unified model

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