Mind and Language 14 (1):131-153 (1999)

Authors
Alan M. Leslie
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Abstract
Psychologists and philosophers have recently been exploring whether the mechanisms which underlie the acquisition of ‘theory of mind’ (ToM) are best charac- terized as cognitive modules or as developing theories. In this paper, we attempt to clarify what a modular account of ToM entails, and why it is an attractive type of explanation. Intuitions and arguments in this debate often turn on the role of develop- ment: traditional research on ToM focuses on various developmental sequences, whereas cognitive modules are thought to be static and ‘anti-developmental’. We suggest that this mistaken view relies on an overly limited notion of modularity, and we explore how ToM might be grounded in a cognitive module and yet still afford development. Modules must ‘come on-line’, and even fully developed modules may still develop internally, based on their constrained input. We make these points con- crete by focusing on a recent proposal to capture the development of ToM in a module via parameterization.
Keywords Development  Metaphysics  Mind  Modularity  Psychology
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DOI 10.1111/1468-0017.00106
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How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate.H. Clark Barrett & Robert Kurzban - 2006 - Psychological Review 113 (3):628-647.
Intuitions About Consciousness: Experimental Studies.Joshua Knobe & Jesse Prinz - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):67-83.

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