An elusive target: A critical review of Clark Glymour's the mind's arrows [Book Review]

Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):157 – 164 (2003)
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The mind's arrows , by Clark Glymour, combines several of the author's previous essays on causal inference. Glymour deploys causal Bayes nets (CBNs) to provide a descriptive psychological model of human causal inference and a prescriptive model for making inferences in cognitive neuropsychology and the social sciences. Though The mind's arrows is highly original and provocative, its labyrinthine organization and technical style render it inaccessible to the uninitiated. Here we attempt to distill, package and dress some of Glymour's more interesting theses. We note that the psychological model is developed with minimal attention to evidence concerning human causal inference and that his prescriptive models fail to do justice either to the many sources of evidence in cognitive neuropsychology or to the serious challenges of making causal inferences in the social sciences. Considerable work remains to be done to complete Glymour's ambitious projects and to clearly communicate them to others.



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Author Profiles

Brandon N. Towl
Washington University in St. Louis
Carl F. Craver
Washington University in St. Louis

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