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Friday, March 8, 2019 at 12:20pm
202 Uris Hall
L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy & Psychology, Head, Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University
Integrating Causal Perception & Causal Inference
The standard view of causal learning is that there are two distinct processes — causal perception and causal inference — that yield different types of cognitive representations. These processes are, on the standard view, basically disjoint, with only limited interactions.
In contrast, I will first present multiple threads of evidence that strongly suggest that causal perception and causal inference are not significantly distinct. That is, there is no bright line to be drawn between the two. Instead, I will argue that we can largely integrate key aspects of these two different learning processes. They are not the same process; there are important differences between them. However, they each provide means to infer the existence of unobservable, but deeply important, causal relationships.