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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Indicative and counterfactual conditionals are central to reasoning in general and causal reasoning in particular. Normative theorists and psychologists have held a range of views on how natural language indicative and counterfactual conditionals, and probability judgments about them, are related to causation. There is the question of whether “causal” conditionals, referring to possible causes and effects, can be used to explain causation, or whether causation can be used to explain the conditionals. There are questions about how causation, conditionals, Bayesian inferences, conditional probability, and imaging are related to each other. Psychological results are relevant to these questions, including findings on how people make conditional inferences and judgments about possibilities, conditionals, and conditional probability. Deeper understanding of the relation between causation and conditionals will come in further research on people’s reasoning from counterfactuals as premises, and to counterfactuals as conclusions.

Keywords: causation, causal conditionals, indicative conditionals, counterfactuals, conditional probability, Bayesian inference, imaging

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