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Why the mind may not be modular

Minds and Machines 6 (1):1-32 (1996)
Abstract
  Fodor argued that in contrast to input systems which are informationally encapsulated, general intelligence is unencapsulated and hence non-modular; for this reason, he suggested, prospects for understanding it are not bright. It is argued that an additional property, primitive functionality, is required for non-modularity. A functionally primitive computational model for quantifier scoping, limited to some scoping influences, is then motivated, and an implementation described. It is argued that only such a model can be faithful to intuitive scope preferences. But it is also argued that an extended model which includes all scoping influences is a hopeless prospect from a developmental perspective. Fodor's views are concluded to have some independent support: quantifier scoping is a mental ability parasitic on general intelligence that is non-modular though in a revised sense, warranting pessimism about our ability of model it
Keywords Cognition  Mind  Modularity  Science
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