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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 growth of causal understandings of natural kinds

The growth of causal understandings of natural kinds

Chapter:
(p.234) 9 The growth of causal understandings of natural kinds
Source:
Causal Cognition
Author(s):

Frank C. Keil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524021.003.0009

This chapter discusses causal understandings of one type of natural kind — living things. It considers three themes: one cannot build a coherent account of our concepts of the natural world without some hypotheses about how that world is really structured; the property homeostasis view of natural kinds fits with a psychological model of concepts as always embedded in theory-like structures which owe their origins to a small but diverse set of fundamental modes of construal — a model that posits a specific view of conceptual change; and one key part of these early modes of construal may be more general expectations about how the causal powers of types of properties, such as colours versus shapes, vary strongly as a function of these general categories and not at more fine-grained levels.

Keywords:   causal understanding, natural kind, living things, homeostasis, construal

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