Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology (Consciousness and Self-Consciousness)

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9780199695133: Understanding Counterfactuals, Understanding Causation: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology (Consciousness and Self-Consciousness)

How are causal judgements such as 'The ice on the road caused the traffic accident' connected with counterfactual judgements such as 'If there had not been any ice on the road, the traffic accident would not have happened'? This volume throws new light on this question by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches to causation and counterfactuals. Traditionally, philosophers have primarily been interested in connections between causal and counterfactual claims on the level of meaning or truth-conditions. More recently, however, they have also increasingly turned their attention to psychological connections between causal and counterfactual understanding or reasoning. At the same time, there has been a surge in interest in empirical work on causal and counterfactual cognition amongst developmental, cognitive, and social psychologists--much of it inspired by work in philosophy. In this volume, twelve original contributions from leading philosophers and psychologists explore in detail what bearing empirical findings might have on philosophical concerns about counterfactuals and causation, and how, in turn, work in philosophy might help clarify the issues at stake in empirical work on the cognitive underpinnings of, and relationships between, causal and counterfactual thought.

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About the Author:


Christoph Hoerl is Associate Professor (Reader) in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Between 2004 and 2008, he was co-director (with Teresa McCormack and Johannes Roessler) of the interdisciplinary AHRC Research Project 'Causal Understanding: Empirical and Theoretical Foundations for a New Approach'. With Teresa McCormack and Stephen Butterfill, he is co-editor of Tool Use and Causal Understanding (OUP, forthcoming).
Teresa McCormack is Professor of Developmental Psychology at the School of Psychology, Queen's University Belfast. She was co-director of the AHRC-funded project on Causal Understanding based at the University of Warwick. Her research primarily addresses issues concerning children's temporal and causal cognition. She has published two co-edited interdisciplinary books: Time and Memory: Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychology (OUP, 2001), with C. Hoerl, and Joint Attention and Communication (OUP, 2005), with N. Eilan, C. Hoerl, and J. Roessler. A further volume entitled Tool Use and Causal Cognition, co-edited with C. Hoerl and S. Butterfill is forthcoming with Oxford.
Sarah Beck studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Oxford and gained her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Birmingham, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer. Her research is concerned with children's and adults' thinking about time and knowledge, with particular interest in the cognitive processes involved in the development of counterfactual thinking.

Review:

an excellent addition to the field ... This is certainly an interesting volume and makes a major contribution to counterfactual accounts of causation. The analysis of empirical studies in the psychological literature provides an evidence-based approach for philosophers who are interested in counterfactual accounts of causation. Moreover, the conceptual problems are illuminated by these empirical studies and suggest more nuanced conceptual questions about the role of counterfactual reasoning in causal thought. This interdisciplinary volume is a must read for advanced students of causation in both philosophy and psychology as well as most obviously for academics in both fields. * Emma Tobin, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How are causal judgements such as The ice on the road caused the traffic accident connected with counterfactual judgements such as If there had not been any ice on the road, the traffic accident would not have happened ? This volume throws new light on this question by uniting, for the first time, psychological and philosophical approaches to causation and counterfactuals. Traditionally, philosophers have primarily been interested in connections between causal and counterfactual claims on the level of meaning or truth-conditions. More recently, however, they have also increasingly turned their attention to psychological connections between causal and counterfactual understanding or reasoning. At the same time, there has been a surge in interest in empirical work on causal and counterfactual cognition amongst developmental, cognitive, and social psychologists-much of it inspired by work in philosophy. In this volume, twelve original contributions from leading philosophers and psychologists explore in detail what bearing empirical findings might have on philosophical concerns about counterfactuals and causation, and how, in turn, work in philosophy might help clarify the issues at stake in empirical work on the cognitive underpinnings of, and relationships between, causal and counterfactual thought. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199695133

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