David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind and Language 20 (3):259-287 (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||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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 J. Buller & Valerie Gray Hardcastle (2000). Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity. [REVIEW] Brain and Mind 1 (3):307-25.
Max Coltheart (1999). Modularity and Cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3 (3):115-120.
Leda Cosmides (1989). The Logic of Social Exchange: Has Natural Selection Shaped How Humans Reason? Studies with the Wason Selection Task. Cognition 31 (3):187-276.
Leda Cosmides, John Tooby & Dan Sperber (2000). Metarepresentation. In Dan Sperber (ed.), Metarepresentations. Oxford University Press. 53.
Citations of this work BETA
Elisabeth Camp (2009). Two Varieties of Literary Imagination: Metaphor, Fiction, and Thought Experiments. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 33 (1):107-130.
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.
Willem E. Frankenhuis & Annemie Ploeger (2007). Evolutionary Psychology Versus Fodor: Arguments for and Against the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):687 – 710.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). Concepts and the Modularity of Thought. Dialectica 64 (1):107-130.
Mark Sprevak (2007). Chinese Rooms and Program Portability. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4):755 - 776.
Similar books and articles
Benny Shanon (1988). Remarks on the Modularity of Mind. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (September):331-52.
Dustin Stokes & Vincent Bergeron (forthcoming). Modular Architectures and Informational Encapsulation: A Dilemma. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-24.
Robert A. Wilson (2005). What Computers (Still, Still) Can't Do: Jerry Fodor on Computation and Modularity. Canadian Journal of Philosophy Supp 30:407-425.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2002). On Fodor's The Mind Doesn't Work That Way. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):551-562.
Lukáš Sekanina (2007). Evolved Computing Devices and the Implementation Problem. Minds and Machines 17 (3):311-329.
Theo C. Meyering (1994). Fodor's Modularity: A New Name for an Old Dilemma. Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):39-62.
Jesse J. Prinz (2006). Is the Mind Really Modular? In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell. 22--36.
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.
John M. Collins (2005). On the Input Problem for Massive Modularity. Minds and Machines 15 (1):1-22.
H. Clark Barrett (2005). Enzymatic Computation and Cognitive Modularity. Mind and Language 20 (3):259-87.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #94,084 of 1,679,439 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #182,836 of 1,679,439 )
How can I increase my downloads?