Disassembling the mind? A review of Gary Marcus's Kluge: The haphazard construction of the human mind

Think 9 (25):47-56 (2010)
The main thesis of Kluge is that the human mind is an evolutionary kluge . As Gary Marcus informs us, the term was popularized by Jackson Granholm's 1962 article ‘How to Design a Kludge’ where it was defined as ‘an ill-assorted collection of poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole’. A kluge may be clumsy and inelegant but, surprisingly, it works . And the mind, according to Marcus, is ‘[t]he most fantastic kluge of them all’. Unlike the view of the human mind that is advanced here, Kluge itself is not a kluge. It is clear, smooth, well-organized, well paced and well written; it can comfortably be read in a few sittings. Unlike a kluge, the parts match well, the collection is not ill-assorted, the whole is not particularly distressing – and, as I will argue, logically speaking it does not work.
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DOI 10.1017/S1477175610000060
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