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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 articulation of circumstance and causal understandings

The articulation of circumstance and causal understandings

Chapter:
(p.557) 18 The articulation of circumstance and causal understandings
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Gilbert Lewis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0018

This chapter discusses the causal understanding of illness. The data come mainly from accounts of illness in Papau New Guinea, and the discussion is concerned with what people do in naturally occurring circumstances. It is about reasoning in practice by adults who come from a culture which maintains belief in the presence in nature of powers and spirits that can respond to human behaviour. These ideas lie behind various rules for the conduct of daily life. Illness may provoke a special attention to them, in that a description of circumstances can imply a possible interpretation of cause.

Keywords:   causal understanding, illness, reasoning, human behaviour, cause

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