Psychologistic Aspects of Suppes’s Definition of Causality

  • Paolo Legrenzi
  • Maria Sonino
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 234)


From the point of view of the analysis of everyday reasoning about causality, the psychologists’ research has shown the relevance but also the insufficiency of Suppes’s definition of causality. Neither the probabilistic definition of causality nor the theory of rational choice can fully explain the data obtained with experiments on counterfactual reasoning and decisions. We have tried to show a link between judgements of causality and decision making. It seems necessary to analyze the type of decision on which an action is based in order to judge the causal role of this action. The data obtained by psychologists in different domains, such as perception and thinking, support both the realistic and the constructivistic positions discussed by philosophers in relation to the nature of causality.


Mental Model Intentional Action Causal Attribution Bank Rate Counterfactual Thinking 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Legrenzi
    • 1
  • Maria Sonino
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly

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