Scenarios and counterfactuals as modal narratives

Booth, C., Rowlinson, M., Clark, P., Delahaye, A. and Procter, S. (2009) Scenarios and counterfactuals as modal narratives. Futures, 41 (1). pp. 87-95. ISSN 0016-3287 Available from:

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Scenarios and counterfactuals are two types of modal narrative. Modal narratives concern themselves with contingency and determinism: with questions of possibility and necessity. While scenarios are future-oriented, focused on what might yet be, counterfactuals are narratives of what might have been. Despite this fundamental temporal difference, consideration of the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of modal narratives as a genre enables us to elucidate some critical issues concerning scenarios as a foresight methodology. In particular, the scenario literature has tended to avoid extended discussion of its implicit assumptions concerning causation, necessity, possibility and contingency. By confronting the modal nature of foresight methodologies more explicitly, the futures community may begin to lay more secure philosophical foundations for their deployment.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:conterfactuals, scenarios, modal narratives
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Business and Law > Department of Business Management
ID Code:12829
Deposited By: Dr C. Booth
Deposited On:06 Dec 2010 15:44
Last Modified:13 Sep 2016 03:43

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