Cleveland-Marshall Law College
A counterfactual is speculating on the consequences if particular events had not happened as they did. For example, suppose the British had won the American Revolutionary War. What would have been the British policy in North America? As law teachers, lawyers, and perhaps policy makers, counterfactual history has much value for us. Its value, however, clearly depends upon the care we take in choosing a plausible counterfactual assertion, the degree of its breadth or, alternatively, its limited nature, and how we make use of the counterfactual.
Arthur R. Landever, Does Counterfactual History Have Any Lessons for Law Teachers and Lawyers? Does It Have Any Value for You, in Particular, in Your Area of Research or Teaching?, Presentation, Sept. 15, 2003.