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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how the understanding of causality relates to the understanding of space and time. Traditionally, spatiotemporal contiguity is regarded as a cue toward causality. While concurring with this view, this chapter also reviews some boundary conditions of this approach. Moreover, temporal information goes beyond merely helping to identify causal relations; it also shapes the types of causal inferences that reasoners draw. Recent developments further show that the relation between time and causality is bi-directional: not only does temporal information shape and guide causal inferences, but once one holds a causal belief, one’s perception of time and space is distorted such that cause and effect appear closer in space-time. Spatiotemporal contiguity thus supports causal beliefs, which in turn foster impressions of contiguity.

Keywords: contiguity, causality, time, spatiotemporal, temporal

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