24 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Causality as a Conceptual Tool

Causality itself is an evolved conceptual tool that simplifies, schematizes, and focuses our representation of situations. This cognitive machinery guides us to think in terms of the cause—of an outcome’s having a single cause. Yet for enlarged understanding, it is more accurate to represent outcomes as caused by an intersection, or nexus, of factors (including the absence of precluding conditions). In War and Peace, Tolstoy asks, “When an apple ripens and falls, why does it fall? Becau...
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John Tooby on how causation is a way we simplify the world to more easily understand it, but it can also over-simplify.