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Durham University

Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Anna Marmodoro

Marmodoro, Anna, Murphy, Robin A. & Baker, A. G. (2014). Does the inherence heuristic take us to psychological essentialism? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (05): 494-495.

Author(s) from Durham


We argue that the claim that essence-based causal explanations emerge, hydra-like, from an inherence heuristic is incomplete. No plausible mechanism for the transition from concrete properties, or cues, to essences is provided. Moreover, the fundamental shotgun and storytelling mechanisms of the inherence heuristic are not clearly enough specified to distinguish them, developmentally, from associative or causal networks.