More specifically, the "intereference free" counterfactual analysis (IFCA) would maintain that:
(IFCA) o is disposed to M when S iff:
- (If it were the case that S, o would M AND it is not the case that something interferes with o's not being disposed to M when S) OR
- Something interferes with o's being disposed to M when S.
As I noted, this analysis would be circular unless one were able to provide an analysis of 'x interferes with o's disposition (not) to M when S' without employing the notion of disposition.
This is my a first stab at doing so. (be warned that it's more than a bit convoluted)
--> For all ks, Ik interferes with o's being disposed to M when S iff:
- It is the case that I1 and … and Ik and … and In,
- For each j, if it were the case that not (I1 or … or I(j–1) or I(j+1) or … or In), then it would not be the case that, if it were that S, then o would M.
- There is some property G such that o has G and if it were the case that not-(I1 or … or In), then it would be the case that: (3.1.) if it were the case that S and o retained G, o would M, and (3.2.) it is not the case that, if it were the case that not-S, then it would be the case that M and (3.3.) it is not the case that, if it were the case that S and O did not retain G, then o would M.
- There is no property H such that it is not the case that o has H, and, if it were the case that not-(I1 or … or In), then o would have H and, if o didn’t have H, then it would not be the case that, if it were that S, o would M.
As far as I can see, this can deal with all the usual counterexamples to (SCA). For example, there being an (inverse) fink attached to this live wire comes out as interfering with the wire's disposition to conduct electricity when touched by a conductor (had the fink not been there, the wire would have conducted electricity when touched by a conductor) and there being a chalice-hating wizard interferes with the chalice's disposition not to break when touched (because had there been no wizard, the chalice would not have broken when touched).
(Question A) Am I wrong in thinking that IFCA avoids the standard counterexamples to SCA?
(Question B) Can anyone think of any new counterexamples lurking in the background? (My spidey senses tell me that there is a whole battery of them just waiting to be thought of... :-))
One last thing: I am assuming that properties are sparse. So, in (IFCA 4.), H cannot be something along the lines of being such that no chalice-hating wizard is around or the likes, for I take there is no such property to be had. However, H can be something along the lines of being made of glass (So that the fact that, for example, the live wire is not made of glass does not come out as interfering with its disposition to conduct electricity when touched by a conductor).