David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind and Language 20 (3):259-87 (2005)
Currently, there is widespread skepticism that higher cognitive processes, given their apparent flexibility and globality, could be carried out by specialized computational devices, or modules. This skepticism is largely due to Fodor’s influential definition of modularity. From the rather flexible catalogue of possible modular features that Fodor originally proposed has emerged a widely held notion of modules as rigid, informationally encapsulated devices that accept highly local inputs and whose opera- tions are insensitive to context. It is a mistake, however, to equate such features with computational devices in general and therefore to assume, as Fodor does, that higher cognitive processes must be non-computational. Of the many possible non-Fodorean architectures, one is explored here that offers possible solutions to computational problems faced by conventional modular systems: an ‘enzymatic’ architecture. Enzymes are computational devices that use lock-and-key template matching to iden- tify relevant information (substrates), which is then operated upon and returned to a common pool for possible processing by other devices. Highly specialized enzymes can operate together in a common pool of information that is not pre-sorted by information type. Moreover, enzymes can use molecular ‘tags’ to regulate the operations of other devices and to change how particular substrates are construed and operated upon, allowing for highly interactive, context-specific processing. This model shows how specialized, modular processing can occur in an open system, and suggests that skepti- cism about modularity may largely be due to failure to consider alternatives to the standard model
|Keywords||Cognition Computation Metaphysics Model Modularity Fodor, Jerry|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
David Marr (1982). Vision. Freeman.
Jerry A. Fodor (2000). The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak & Daniel J. Povinelli (2008). Darwin's Mistake: Explaining the Discontinuity Between Human and Nonhuman Minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (2):109-130.
Gary L. Brase & W. Trey Hill (2015). Good Fences Make for Good Neighbors but Bad Science: A Review of What Improves Bayesian Reasoning and Why. [REVIEW] Frontiers in Psychology 6.
Matteo Colombo (2013). Moving Forward (and Beyond) the Modularity Debate: A Network Perspective. Philosophy of Science 80 (3):356-377.
Elisabeth Camp (2009). Two Varieties of Literary Imagination: Metaphor, Fiction, and Thought Experiments. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 33 (1):107-130.
Edouard Machery (2008). Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Human Cognition. Mind and Language 23 (3):263-272.
Similar books and articles
Robert A. Wilson (2008). What Computers (Still, Still) Can't Do: Jerry Fodor on Computation and Modularity. In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press 407-425.
John M. Collins (2005). On the Input Problem for Massive Modularity. Minds and Machines 15 (1):1-22.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2002). On Fodor's The Mind Doesn't Work That Way. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):551-562.
Jesse J. Prinz (2006). Is the Mind Really Modular? In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell 22--36.
Theo C. Meyering (1994). Fodor's Modularity: A New Name for an Old Dilemma. Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):39-62.
Daniel Weiskopf (2002). A Critical Review of Jerry A. Fodor's the Mind Doesn't Work That Way. [REVIEW] Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):551 – 562.
Benny Shanon (1988). Remarks on the Modularity of Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (September):331-52.
Clark H. Barrett (2005). Enzymatic Computation and Cognitive Modularity. Mind and Language 20 (3):259-287.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #68,891 of 1,911,519 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #49,374 of 1,911,519 )
How can I increase my downloads?