from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Running contrary to the facts: "Cold war historiography vividly illustrates how the selection of the counterfactual question to be asked generally anticipates the desired answer” ( Timothy Garton Ash).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Contrary to the facts; untrue.
- n. A claim, hypothesis, or other belief that is contrary to the facts.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. contrary to fact; -- of assertions, ideas, assumptions.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. going counter to the facts (usually as a hypothesis)
This is what we call counterfactual history or speculation.
The story is an exercise in counterfactual genre criticism in which a professor tells his class about the fictitious history and non-existent antecedent of Poe's famous story "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842).
The counterfactual is extremely difficult to test reliably given the small number of data points. we should be lowering the tax on labor and raising the tax on capital
In this example, the counterfactual is not sufficient to stretch the suspension of disbelief.
And that might well work – I think most people’s eyes glaze over when you try to explain counterfactual baseline estimates to them, and so they are just keeping an eye on the unemployment rate, which remains grim and may only have trended down a bit by the 2010 elections.
But then Brooks’s counterfactual is pointless, because you can’t choose to marry someone you can be happy with.
The sheepish bulls seem to be driven by what psychologists call "counterfactual regret"—the haunting sense of what might have been.
This is called a counterfactual: a what would have happened scenario that can't be refuted.
Moreover, we now have what is called counterfactual evidence: rates of MMR uptake have dropped to such a statistically significant extent that were the two phenomena related we would simply have to have seen a drop in autism.
But you seem to be assuming that the counterfactual is a 100% success rate in some other occupation.