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Historical Explanations Always Involve Counterfactual History

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Historical explanations are a form of counterfactual history. To offer an explanation of what happened, historians have to identify causes, and whenever they identify causes, they immediately conjure up a counterfactual history, a parallel world. No one doubts that there is a great deal of distance between science fiction novelists and the world’s great historians, but along an important dimension, they are playing the same game.

Affiliations: 1: Harvard University csunstei@law.harvard.edu

10.1163/18722636-12341345
/content/journals/10.1163/18722636-12341345
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/content/journals/10.1163/18722636-12341345
2016-11-17
2017-09-22

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