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Causal CognitionA Multidisciplinary Debate$
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Dan Sperber, David Premack, and Ann James Premack

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524021

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.001.0001

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Instrumental action and causal representation

Instrumental action and causal representation

(p.5) 1 Instrumental action and causal representation
Causal Cognition

Anthony Dickinson

David Shanks

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines instrumental action as a basic behavioural marker of causal cognition by investigating the concordance between human causal judgements and instrumental performance across variations in the parameters of an action–outcome relation. It is also concerned with whether or not animal action exhibits the necessary prerequisite for an intentional account, namely that it is mediated by some representation of the action-outcome association. Finally, it analyses whether human causal judgements and animal actions are mediated by comparable processes in terms of their susceptibility to causal illusions.

Keywords:   instrumental action, causal cognition, causal judgements, animal actions, causal illusions

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