The debate between current versions of covariation and mechanism approaches to causal inference

Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):87 – 107 (2003)
Abstract
Current psychological research on causal inference is dominated by two basic approaches: the covariation approach and the mechanism approach. This article reviews these two approaches, evaluates the contributions and limitations of each approach, and suggests how these approaches might be integrated into a more comprehensive framework. Covariation theorists assume that cognizers infer causal relations from conditional probabilities computed over samples of multiple events, but they do not provide an adequate account of how cognizers constrain their search for candidate causes and relevant evidence. Mechanism theorists assume that cognizers use their knowledge of potential mechanisms to infer the causes of individual events, but they do not account for the origins of this kind of knowledge. Theorists might integrate these approaches into a framework that overcomes these limitations by (1) examining important relations between cognizers' beliefs about the nature of causality, the logic of causal inference, and the processes cognizers use to make causal inferences, and (2) providing a more complete account of cognizers' conceptions of causality and the origins of those conceptions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,747
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

5 ( #224,261 of 1,098,869 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #286,682 of 1,098,869 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.