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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 understandings in cultural representations: cognitive constraints on inferences from cultural input

Causal understandings in cultural representations: cognitive constraints on inferences from cultural input

Chapter:
(p.615) 20 Causal understandings in cultural representations: cognitive constraints on inferences from cultural input
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Pascal Boyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0020

This chapter asks whether concepts of causation are culture-specific. It focuses on causal representations in religion and magic which, being unconstrained by objective facts, seem to exhibit cross-cultural variation. Despite this, domain-specific cognitive dispositions are at work and, even in the religious domain, favour an understanding of causation that is generally trivial, intuitive, and not culture-specific.

Keywords:   causation, causal representations, religion, magic, culture

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