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How children come to grasp the causal structure of the world.

Frank Keil

Tuesday, October 19, 2004, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Yale University, Department of Linguistics

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�Children can only track part of the immense causal complexity that exists in the world around them,� raising questions as to what causal patterns they do use and how they deal with the incompleteness of their understanding.� The problem is exacerbated by demonstrations that all people at all ages grossly overestimate the depth and quality of their causal understandings.� The notion of adults, let alone children and infants, as having "intuitive theories" seems problematic on any normal reading of "theory".� Yet, at a more implicit level,� even quite young children are highly effective at extracting causal gists that enable them to� build more detailed causal explanations when needed and which allow them to effectively use the division of cognitive labor that exists in all cultures.

Frank Keil