Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Causal ModelsHow People Think about the World and Its Alternatives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Steven Sloman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183115.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 July 2019

 What Is a Cause?

 What Is a Cause?

Chapter:
(p.21) 3 What Is a Cause?
Source:
Causal Models
Author(s):

Steven Sloman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183115.003.0003

This chapter discusses what causes are. It argues that causal relations are not the only kind of invariance useful for representing the world. There are various kinds of mathematical representations, as well as logical and probabilistic representations. But noncausal forms of invariance are less useful than causality for describing relations among events because they don't naturally describe the processes that generate those events and because, therefore, they fail to support key forms of counterfactual inference as directly as causal models do. In short, only causal models represent the invariance that tells us what the effects of our and others' actions would be. As a result, people seem to be particularly adept at representing and reasoning with causal structure.

Keywords:   causal systems, causal relations, cause, effect

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .