If only you’d been less confident in your counterfactual!

Confidence in a counterfactual conclusion, which is always a falsehood built falsely on some other one, invariably contradicts its necessary presumption: of a reasonable comprehension of historical cause and effect. Of course, claims that all counterfactuals are utterly useless and entirely misleading would tend to imply an overconfidence of the same type, in the superiority of some impossible world better for its lack of alternativities, but the “if only we had” always immediately refers us to the actual insufficiency of its concept. Its typical purpose will be to put a face of rationality on the will, which first must insist on itself.

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