Chapter

What does rationality have to do with psychological causation? Propositional attitudes as mechanisms and as control variables

John Campbell

in Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780199238033
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754562 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199238033.003.0008

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

What does rationality have to do with psychological causation? Propositional attitudes as mechanisms and as control variables

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How are we to decide what variables to use in characterizing the causal structure of a complex system? I’ll argue that one central component is the search for ‘control variables’. We want to be able to characterize the space of possible outcomes of interventions on the system in such a way that we can find ‘control variables’ – variables that have large, systematic, and specific effects on those outcomes. I look at the implications of this approach for a number of questions concerning causation in psychiatry.

Chapter.  6861 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Clinical Neuroscience

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