Five Reasons to Doubt the Existence of a Geometric Module

Cognitive Science 34 (7):1315-1356 (2010)
It is frequently claimed that the human mind is organized in a modular fashion, a hypothesis linked historically, though not inevitably, to the claim that many aspects of the human mind are innately specified. A specific instance of this line of thought is the proposal of an innately specified geometric module for human reorientation. From a massive modularity position, the reorientation module would be one of a large number that organized the mind. From the core knowledge position, the reorientation module is one of five innate and encapsulated modules that can later be supplemented by use of human language. In this paper, we marshall five lines of evidence that cast doubt on the geometric module hypothesis, unfolded in a series of reasons: (1) Language does not play a necessary role in the integration of feature and geometric cues, although it can be helpful. (2) A model of reorientation requires flexibility to explain variable phenomena. (3) Experience matters over short and long periods. (4) Features are used for true reorientation. (5) The nature of geometric information is not as yet clearly specified. In the final section, we review recent theoretical approaches to the known reorientation phenomena
Keywords Geometric module  Modularity  Spatial reorientation  Development  Adaptive combination
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01081.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,631
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

14 ( #280,613 of 1,938,800 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #458,338 of 1,938,800 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.