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An interdisciplinary focus on the concept of causation: what philosophy can learn from psychology

Leen De Vreese (UGent)
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Abstract
In philosophy of science, it is still a mainstream practice to search for the ‘truth’ about fundamental scientific concepts in isolation, blind to knowledge achieved in other domains of science. I focus on the topic of causation. I argue that it is worthwhile for philosophy of science to leave its metaphysical tower in order to pick up knowledge from other domains where empirical research on causal reasoning is carried out, such as psychology. I will demonstrate what the psychologist Peter White’s theory, on the origin and development of causal reasoning, can impart to philosophy of causation. It concerns different but interrelated subjects with respect to the philosophy of causation: conceptual pluralism, a core causal concept of causation, the analysis of ‘what causation is’, epistemological pluralism, causation as a secondary quality and weak causal realism. The divide between metaphysical and epistemological approaches to causation — and hence between philosophy and psychology — may be much smaller than is often presupposed.
Keywords
causal reasoning, psychology, pluralism, philosophy of science, causation

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Chicago
De Vreese, Leen. 2012. “An Interdisciplinary Focus on the Concept of Causation: What Philosophy Can Learn from Psychology.” In Worldviews, Science and Us : Bridging Knowledge and Its Implications for Our Perspectives of the World, ed. Diederik Aerts and Jan Broekaert, 55–71. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
APA
De Vreese, L. (2012). An interdisciplinary focus on the concept of causation: what philosophy can learn from psychology. In Diederik Aerts & J. Broekaert (Eds.), Worldviews, science and us : bridging knowledge and its implications for our perspectives of the world (pp. 55–71). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.
Vancouver
1.
De Vreese L. An interdisciplinary focus on the concept of causation: what philosophy can learn from psychology. In: Aerts D, Broekaert J, editors. Worldviews, science and us : bridging knowledge and its implications for our perspectives of the world. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing; 2012. p. 55–71.
MLA
De Vreese, Leen. “An Interdisciplinary Focus on the Concept of Causation: What Philosophy Can Learn from Psychology.” Worldviews, Science and Us : Bridging Knowledge and Its Implications for Our Perspectives of the World. Ed. Diederik Aerts & Jan Broekaert. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2012. 55–71. Print.
@incollection{2082863,
  abstract     = {In philosophy of science, it is still a mainstream practice to search for the {\textquoteleft}truth{\textquoteright} about fundamental scientific concepts in isolation, blind to knowledge achieved in other domains of science. I focus on the topic of causation. I argue that it is worthwhile for philosophy of science to leave its metaphysical tower in order to pick up knowledge from other domains where empirical research on causal reasoning is carried out, such as psychology. I will demonstrate what the psychologist Peter White{\textquoteright}s theory, on the origin and development of causal reasoning, can impart to philosophy of causation. It concerns different but interrelated subjects with respect to the philosophy of causation: conceptual pluralism, a core causal concept of causation, the analysis of {\textquoteleft}what causation is{\textquoteright}, epistemological pluralism, causation as a secondary quality and weak causal realism. The divide between metaphysical and epistemological approaches to causation --- and hence between philosophy and psychology --- may be much smaller than is often presupposed.},
  author       = {De Vreese, Leen},
  booktitle    = {Worldviews, science and us : bridging knowledge and its implications for our perspectives of the world},
  editor       = {Aerts, Diederik and Broekaert, Jan},
  keyword      = {causal reasoning,psychology,pluralism,philosophy of science,causation},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {55--71},
  publisher    = {World Scientific Publishing},
  title        = {An interdisciplinary focus on the concept of causation: what philosophy can learn from psychology},
  year         = {2012},
}