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Causal Cognition – A Multidisciplinary Debate - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Causal Cognition: A Multidisciplinary Debate

Dan Sperber, David Premack, and Ann James Premack


An understanding of cause-effect relationships is fundamental to the study of cognition. In this book, chapters based on comparative psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and philosophy present the newest developments in the study of causal cognition and discuss their different perspectives. They reflect on the role and forms of causal knowledge, both in animal and human cognition, on the development of human causal cognition from infancy, and on the relationship between individual and cultural aspects of causal understanding. This book presents an informative, ... More

Keywords: cause-effect relationships, cognition, comparative psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, anthropology, philosophy, causal cognition

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1996 Print ISBN-13: 9780198524021
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dan Sperber, editor

David Premack, editor
CNRS, Paris

Ann James Premack, editor
CNRS, Paris

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1 Instrumental action and causal representation

Anthony Dickinson, and David Shanks

3 Infants’ knowledge of object motion and human action

Elizabeth S. Spelke, Ann Phillips, and Amanda L. Woodward

4 The acquisition of physical knowledge in infancy

Renee Baillargeon, Laura Kotovsky, and Amy Needham

5 A theory of agency

Alan M. Leslie

6 Distinguishing between animates and inanimates: not by motion alone

Rochel Gelman, Frank Durgin, and Lisa Kaufman

7 Intention as psychological cause

David Premack, and Ann James Premack

19 Causal attribution across domains and cultures

Michael W. Morris, Richard E. Nisbett, and Kaiping Peng


David Premack, and Ann James Premack

End Matter