David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):551 – 562 (2002)
The "New Synthesis" in cognitive science is committed to the computational theory of mind (CTM), massive modularity, nativism, and adaptationism. In The mind doesn't work that way , Jerry Fodor argues that CTM has problems explaining abductive or global inference, but that the New Synthesis offers no solution, since massive modularity is in fact incompatible with global cognitive processes. I argue that it is not clear how global human mentation is, so whether CTM is imperiled is an open question. Massive modularity also lacks some of the invidious commitments Fodor ascribes to it. Furthermore, Fodor's anti-adaptationist arguments are in tension with his nativism about the contents of modular systems. The New Synthesis thus has points worth preserving.
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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.
Jerry A. Fodor & Zenon W. Pylyshyn (1988). Connectionism and Cognitive Architecture. Cognition 28 (1-2):3-71.
G. Segal, P. Carruthers & K. Smith (1996). Theories of Theories of Mind. In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press
Richard Samuels (1998). Evolutionary Psychology and the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):575-602.
Citations of this work BETA
Eric Mandelbaum (2014). The Automatic and the Ballistic: Modularity Beyond Perceptual Processes. Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1147-1156.
Willem E. Frankenhuis & Annemie Ploeger (2007). Evolutionary Psychology Versus Fodor: Arguments for and Against the Massive Modularity Hypothesis. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):687 – 710.
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