- Wenzlhuemer, Roland: Editorial: Unpredictability, contingency and counterfactuals.
- Roese, Neal J.; Morrison, Mike: The psychology of counterfactual thinking.
- Wenzlhuemer, Roland: Counterfactual thinking as a scientific method.
- Lebow, Richard Ned: Counterfactuals, history and fiction.
- Schmid, Georg: Counterfactuals and futures histories: retrospective imagining as an auxiliary for the scenarios of expectance.
- Talbot, Ann: Chance and necessity in history: E.H. Carr and Leon Trotsky compared.
- Winthrop-Young, Geoffrey: Fallacies and thresholds: notes on the early evolution of alternate history.
- Weber, Helmut: The 'but for' test and other devices: the role of hypothetical events in the law.
- Ennen, Jens: The evaluation of welfare state performance: modelling a counterfactual world.
- Svetlova, Ekaterina: "Do I see what the market does not see?" Counterfactual thinking in financial markets.
- Schiel, Juliane: Crossing paths between east and west: the use of counterfactual thinking for the concept of "entangled histories".
- Ohnacker, Elke: "What if... Charlemagne's other sons had survived?" Charlemagne's sons and the problems of royal succession.
- Phillipps, Sören: The birth of the European Union: challenging the myth of the civilian power narrative.
- Winnerling, Tobias: Invention Formosa, the empire of the Great Khan and Lilliput: can 18th century fiction be counterfactual?
- Diaz-Bone, Rainer: Konvention, Organisation und Institution: der institutionentheoretische Beitrag der "Économie des conventions".
- Schnettler, Bernt; Raab, Jürgen: Interpretative visual analysis developments: state of the art and pending problems.
- Bohnsack, Ralf: The interpretation of pictures and the documentary method.
- Vowinckel, Annette: Past futures: from re-enactment to the simulation of history in computer games.
- Ciccarelli, Carlo; Fenoaltea, Stefano: Shipbuilding in Italy, 1861-1913: the burden of the evidence.
HSR Vol. 34 (2009) No. 2: Special Issue: Counterfactual Thinking
Roland Wenzlhuemer (Hrsg.): Counterfacutal Thinking as a Scientific Method
Counterfactual thinking is a common occurrence in everyday-life situations. What if I had bought a ticket before boarding the bus? What if I had not gone to the rock concert and never met my partner? On first glance such counterfactual thoughts appear to be nothing more than a sentimental and all too human trait. What practical use is there in thinking about alternatives of the past that have never been realized? It is, therefore, no surprise that counterfactual thinking in a scientific context has for a long time been eyed suspiciously. Can it have any analytical value to systematically think about things that have never happened and surely will never happen? While some academic disciplines such as law, economics or philosophy have answered this question in the affirmative and have employed counterfactuals as a matter of course, others – such as history or political science – have been particularly critical of the practice.
This volume brings together contributions from a variety of different fields and seeks to illustrate how counterfactual thinking can, indeed, be useful from a scientific perspective. It builds on the results of recent psychological research and the experiences that researchers in disciplines such as law or economics have made with counterfactual thinking. The volume ultimately seeks to highlight the common analytical ground between counterfactual thinking in everyday life and in academic contexts – particularly in the field of historical research.