It's well known that Malebranche, Berkeley, and Hume among others argued that we don't observe strict or efficient causality; rather we just observe correlations (A and B) and confuse strong expectations of B following on the occasion of A with strict causation of B by A. Yet there is a good deal of psychological literature developing Albert Michotte's experiments (Perception of Causality, 1963 English translation) by those like Brian Scholl (Yale Lab on Cognition) and others that there is a robust representation of causality when observing simulations of collisions. Robust means even in cases when there is no regularity in the sequences, (no correlation) people including infants represent in perception that A moves B in that particular case when a launching of one object by another does appear to take place. Michotte admitted that his work might not have convinced Hume, if representing causality in perception required representing that A was necessarily connected to B in a ... (read more
Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/2922
Jim Stone, 2010-02-23 : Thanks for this helpful post. I have always read Hume, when he says we don’t experience necessary connection, to be sayi... (read more)
- Fenton Robb, 2010-03-02 : Am I correct in thinking that in the period we are considering, Newton's kind of science (I offer no hypotheses - i... (read more)
- Annette Claire Baier, 2010-03-02 : Yes, Jim, Hume did think we experience efficient causality, but only when we know a constancy of conjunction, never from... (read more)
- Richard Brook, 2010-03-02 : Experience of constant conjunction couldn't give experience of causality if experience of causality is experience of... (read more)
- Richard Brook, 2010-03-02 : Actually they have been done by Michotte and others with adults and replicated in children. A recent issue of Phil Quart... (read more)
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