David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Mind and Language 20 (1):1-38 (2005)
In my book How the Mind Works, I defended the theory that the human mind is a naturally selected system of organs of computation. Jerry Fodor claims that 'the mind doesn't work that way'(in a book with that title) because (1) Turing Machines cannot duplicate humans' ability to perform abduction (inference to the best explanation); (2) though a massively modular system could succeed at abduction, such a system is implausible on other grounds; and (3) evolution adds nothing to our understanding of the mind. In this review I show that these arguments are flawed. First, my claim that the mind is a computational system is different from the claim Fodor attacks (that the mind has the architecture of a Turing Machine); therefore the practical limitations of Turing Machines are irrelevant. Second, Fodor identifies abduction with the cumulative accomplishments of the scientific community over millennia. This is very different from the accomplishments of human common sense, so the supposed gap between human cognition and computational models may be illusory. Third, my claim about biological specialization, as seen in organ systems, is distinct from Fodor's own notion of encapsulated modules, so the limitations of the latter are irrelevant. Fourth, Fodor's arguments dismissing of the relevance of evolution to psychology are unsound.
|Keywords||Computation Mind Science Turing Machines Fodor, J|
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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.
Steven Pinker (1995). The Language Instinct. Harper Perennial.
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. 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.
Michael L. Anderson (2007). The Massive Redeployment Hypothesis and the Functional Topography of the Brain. Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):143-174.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2011). Part-Whole Science. Synthese 178 (3):397-427.
Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2012). Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs. Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke (2011). Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification. Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
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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.
Jerry A. Fodor (2008). Lot 2: The Language of Thought Revisited. Oxford University Press.
D. King (1996). Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine? Synthese 108 (3):379-89.
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