David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell (2006)
My charge in this chapter is to set out the positive case supporting massively modular models of the human mind.1 Unfortunately, there is no generally accepted understanding of what a massively modular model of the mind is. So at least some of our discussion will have to be terminological. I shall begin by laying out the range of things that can be meant by ‘modularity’. I shall then adopt a pair of strategies. One will be to distinguish some things that ‘modularity’ definitely can’t mean, if the thesis of massive modularity is to be even remotely plausible. The other will be to look at some of the arguments that have been offered in support of massive modularity, discussing what notion of ‘module’ they might warrant. It will turn out that there is, indeed, a strong case in support of massively modular models of the mind on one reasonably natural understanding of ‘module’. But what really matters in the end, of course, is the substantive question of what sorts of structure are adequate to account for the organization and operations of the human mind, not whether or not the components appealed to in that account get described as ‘modules’. So the more interesting question before us is what the arguments that have been offered in support of massive modularity can succeed in showing us about those structures, whatever they get called
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Angeles Eraña (2012). Dual Process Theories Versus Massive Modularity Hypotheses. Philosophical Psychology 25 (6):855-872.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). Concepts and the Modularity of Thought. Dialectica 64 (1):107-130.
Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia, Ángeles Eraña & Robert Stainton (2010). The Contribution of Domain Specificity in the Highly Modular Mind. Minds and Machines 20 (1):19-27.
Stephen Andrew Butterfill (2007). What Are Modules and What is Their Role in Development? Mind and Language 22 (4):450–473.
James T. Mantell & Peter Q. Pfordresher (2013). Vocal Imitation of Song and Speech. Cognition 127 (2):177-202.
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