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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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The role of coherence in differentiating genuine from spurious causes

The role of coherence in differentiating genuine from spurious causes

Chapter:
(p.463) 15 The role of coherence in differentiating genuine from spurious causes
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Patricia W. Cheng

Yunnwen Lien

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0015

This chapter distinguishes between a genuine cause and a spurious cause. According to the power view, when one knows of an underlying causal power or mechanism, one will judge the relevance action to be causal or a genuine cause; otherwise one will judge it to be non-causal or a spurious cause. The aim of this chapter is to provide an explication of the power view, including a partial specification of what is meant by the knowledge of an underlying power and of how such knowledge influences causal judgements. It also aims to explicate the relationship between the power view and statistical relevance. It shows that the power view makes use of, rather than contradicts, statistical relevance.

Keywords:   genuine cause, spurious cause, power view, causal judgements

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