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The role of activity in visual impressions of causality

White, Peter Anthony 2006. The role of activity in visual impressions of causality. Acta Psychologica 123 (1-2) , pp. 166-185. 10.1016/j.actpsy.2006.05.002

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Phenomenal causality is an illusion built on an incomplete perception. It is an illusion because we can have visualimpressions of causality when no interaction between objects is actually taking place. It is an illusion built on an incomplete perception because causality as we understand it neglects some factors involved in objective descriptions of interactions between objects in terms of the laws of mechanics. So, why don’t we perceive object interactions in accordance with the laws of mechanics? I first consider what kinds of things can and cannot be causes perceptually, arguing that active objects can be causes and non-moving objects cannot be. Then, I argue that causal understanding originates with what we have the most direct experience of, our own actions on objects, and extends out from this point of origin to other domains of causality by a form of schema matching the interpretation of stimulus input by matching to abstracted stored representations of experiences. Schema matching raises the possibility of many more kinds of phenomenal causality than have hitherto been considered, and I conclude by suggesting some possibilities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phenomenal causality; Causal perception; Haptic perception; Causal asymmetry; Action
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0001-6918
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:05

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