Rethinking the divide: Modules and central systems

Philosophia 34 (4):379-393 (2006)
In this paper I argue that the cognitive system is best viewed as a continuum of cognitive processing from modules to central systems rather than having these as discrete and wholly different modes of cognitive processing. I rely on recent evidence on the development of theory of mind (ToM) abilities and the developmental disorder of autism. I then turn to the phenomenology of modular processes. I show that modular outputs have a stronger force than non-modular or central system outputs. I then evaluate social cognitions and show them to occupy a middle ground with respect to phenomenal strength between modular and non-modular outputs. The evidence presented then seems to indicate a continuum of cognitive processing rather than the traditional division between modules and central systems
Keywords autism  modules  central systems social cognition  theory of mind
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-006-9034-8
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