Chapter

Introduction

Alison Gopni and Laura Schulz

in Causal Learning

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780195176803
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199958511 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195176803.003.0001

Series: Oxford Series in Cognitive Development

Introduction

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This chapter provides a simple, clear, and (hopefully) amusing introduction to causal model and Bayes nets theories in computer science, the interventionist account of causation in philosophy, and the psychology of causal learning in both adults and children. It takes the form of a fictional e-mail exchange between a developmental psychologist and a philosopher/computer scientist in which each partner explains the background of their field to the other. In two attachments, the fictional authors review the literature on causal Bayes nets and on the psychology of causal inference.

Keywords: concepts; folk theories; cognitive development; Bayesian inference; causal models; causal knowledge; causal learning; probabilistic models; statistical learning; Bayes nets

Chapter.  10332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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