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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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Causal constraints on categories and categorical constraints on biological reasoning across cultures

Causal constraints on categories and categorical constraints on biological reasoning across cultures

Chapter:
(p.205) 8 Causal constraints on categories and categorical constraints on biological reasoning across cultures
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Scott Atran

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0008

This chapter discusses aspects of domain-specific thinking, including categorization and causal inferencing from conceptual categories, within and across cultures. It focuses on the structure of categories in the domain of biology, such as the organization of taxonomic relations that hold between cat and mammal or oak and tree. It examines the extent to which this categorical structure constrains inferences that causally relate biological taxa to one another, and the extent to which culturally specific belief systems, or theories are able to modify that structure and hence change the nature of biological reasoning.

Keywords:   domain-specific thinking, categorization, inferencing, conceptual categories, cultures, inferences, biological taxa

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