One of the mods said something I found curious

Migrated to History, but now that I think about it maybe counter-factual really isn't appropriate anywhere on SE -- outside possibly worldbuilding?

I get the phrase, but don't really know how to understand it. Can we not ask questions about counter-factuals, about e.g. science, or history?

It seems obvious that questions can include counterfactuals, if discussing laws of nature, we might want to refer to and illustarte "counterfactuals". Even if they can't be asking for one.

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Yeah, it's an interesting question! --The obvious issue is one of effectively unlimited subjectivity, and questionable epistemology of events that never took place in our universe. The metaphysics/epistemological questions about the notion of counterfactuals are clearly fine/on-topic; but open-ended speculation on alternative history seems firmly in the worldbuilding space.

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  • i don't know what you mean by "open ended" or "worldbuilding space" especially ? – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 18:58
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    Worldbuilding is a reference to the SE site here worldbuilding.stackexchange.com – Joseph Weissman Apr 12 '17 at 19:00
  • "Open-ended" just means that there's not an obviously correct answer, so maybe not a good fit for SE given the format (i.e., questions have "one correct" answer) – Joseph Weissman Apr 12 '17 at 19:01
  • hmm well i would disagree that a site that seems to be dedicated to creating entirely fictional and imaginary worlds is the right fit for a question asking would X have happened if not for Y (at least assuming that we're not asking about a fictional Y) – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:01
  • Why not exactly? --This is sort of the epistemological issue I'm getting at above, and why there's not a "single correct" answer -- since clearly these alternate events didn't happen in the "real" universe...? – Joseph Weissman Apr 12 '17 at 19:02
  • uhh i think you're over thinking this by talking about 'epistemology' in that context. i would sympathise a little for scientific counterfactuals, which suggests that alternate histories may likewise be "worldbuilding". but as well as being asked not to illustarte a philosophical idea, but to clarify it, there is a sense in which history is different -- it is not listed on site blurb, which may not be an oversite "writers/artists using science, geography and culture" – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:06
  • i think it is a philosophical point -- whether marxism can lead to "barbarism", at least if marxism is a philosophy – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:07
  • my counterfactual just isn't fictonal in the same sense as "How effective would an army of succubi have been in medieval times?" – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:16
  • hm yeah i definitely disagree. even if the problem with a historical counterfactual asked about a philosophical school and not to write fiction is that it could generate any kind of answer, perhaps because history is just one event after another, this doesn't apply here, because i specifically ask for events comparable to the stalinist purges etc.. tho obvious you are a mod, and i have no means to challenge the deletion thing – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:28
  • i've had my account terminated -- weird, i guess cos of the downvotes from history.stackexchange? – user25714 Apr 12 '17 at 19:34

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