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Byrne, R. M. J. (2007). The rational imagination: How people create alternatives to reality. Cambridge: The MIT Press.  
Added by: sirfragalot 27 Aug 2011 04:49:23 Europe/Copenhagen
      "One of the more surprising aspects of counterfactual imagination is that there are remarkable similiarities in what everyone imagines."
      The similarities in imaginative scenarios suggest "that there are "joints" in reality, junctures that attract everyone's attention."
      "A counterfactual conditional [using the subjunctive mood] such as "if only he had been handsome, I would have married him" evokes two possibilities, an imaginary possibility in which the man is handsome and the speaker marries him, and a reality in which the man was not and she did not."
      "The negative counterfactual seems to propose that its antecedent is fake." The example Byrne uses is "if Oswald had not killed Kennedy then someone else would have." The presupposition, or antecedent, is that Oswald had killed Kennedy; the negative counterfactual proposes otherwise.
      "to think counterfactually is to think causally" (p.6). Byrne traces such thinking to Hume and Mill but counterfactual and causal thoughts are sometimes divergent. e.g. Taxi driver refuses ride to couple who then take their own car. Taxi driver drives safely over bridge; shortly after, as the couple drive over it, the bridge collapses and kills them. The cause of the bridge collapsing was not the taxi driver's refusal yet people still blame the driver for the deaths. "If only he had given the couple a ride!"
      Discussing the number of possibilities people imagine/infer when given a proposition.

1. Conjunction -- A went to stables and rode S. (1 possibility.)
2. Bicondition -- If, and only if, A went to stables, she rode S. (2 possibilities.)
3. Conditional -- If A went to stables, she rode S. (3 possibilities.)
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