David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Dialectica 64 (1):107-130 (2010)
Having concepts is a distinctive sort of cognitive capacity. One thing that conceptual thought requires is obeying the Generality Constraint: concepts ought to be freely recombinable with other concepts to form novel thoughts, independent of what they are concepts of. Having concepts, then, constrains cognitive architecture in interesting ways. In recent years, spurred on by the rise of evolutionary psychology, massively modular models of the mind have gained prominence. I argue that these architectures are incapable of satisfying the Generality Constraint, and hence incapable of underpinning conceptual thought. I develop this argument with respect to two well-articulated proposals, due to Dan Sperber and Peter Carruthers. Neither proposal gives us a satisfactory explanation of Generality within the confines of a genuinely modular architecture. Massively modular minds may display considerable behavioral and cognitive flexibility, but not humanlike conceptualized thought.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Gareth Evans (1982). Varieties of Reference. Oxford University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby (eds.) (1992). The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2010). The Theoretical Indispensability of Concepts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):228 - 229.
Similar books and articles
Jesse J. Prinz (2006). Is the Mind Really Modular? In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell 22--36.
Armin W. Schulz (2008). Structural Flaws: Massive Modularity and the Argument From Design. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):733-743.
Dustin Stokes & Vincent Bergeron (2015). Modular Architectures and Informational Encapsulation: A Dilemma. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):315-38.
Jacob Beck (2012). The Generality Constraint and the Structure of Thought. Mind 121 (483):563-600.
Peter Carruthers (2006). The Case for Massively Modular Models of Mind. In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Blackwell
Edouard Machery (2008). Massive Modularity and the Flexibility of Human Cognition. Mind and Language 23 (3):263-272.
Elisabeth Camp, Putting Thoughts to Work: Concepts, Stimulus-Independence and the Generality Constraint.
Eduoard Machery (2008). Modularity and the Flexibility of Human Cognition. Mind and Language 23 (3):263–272.
Elisabeth Camp, Putting Thoughts to Work: Concepts, Systematicity, and Stimulus-Independence and the Generality Constraint.
Claudia Lorena García (2007). Cognitive Modularity, Biological Modularity and Evolvability. Biological Theory: Integrating Development, Evolution and Cognition (KLI) 2 (1):62-73.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads70 ( #51,910 of 1,781,480 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #123,412 of 1,781,480 )
How can I increase my downloads?