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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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Anthropology, Psychology, and the Meanings of Social Causality

Anthropology, Psychology, and the Meanings of Social Causality

(p.313) 11 Anthropology, Psychology, and the Meanings of Social Causality
Causal Cognition

Lawrence A. Hirschfeld

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes social causality by drawing insights from both anthropology, on the nature of the social arena, and psychology, on how understanding is represented. It focuses on traits and dispositions that are attributed to people by virtue of the social categories or groups to which they are assumed to belong. Some of these groupings, such as sex or race, are construed in an essentialist manner. Others, such as occupation, are construed functionally. This chapter also challenges the dominant view according to which early social categorization is wholly based on superficial cues such as bodily appearance or dress.

Keywords:   social causality, anthropology, psychology, social understanding, sex, race, occupation, social categorization

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