Modularity of Mind: Is It Time to Abandon This Ship?

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (2):132-144 (2017)
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This article evaluates the idea of the modularity of mind and domain specificity. This concept has penetrated the behavioral disciplines, and in the case of some of these—for example, the cognitive study of religion—has even formed their foundation. Although the theoretical debate relating to the idea of modularity is ongoing, this debate has not been reflected in the use of modularity in behavioral research. The idea of domain specificity or modularity of mind is not without its controversies, and there is no consensus regarding its acceptance. Many neuroscientists, as well as several evolutionary psychologists and philosophers, have raised a number of objections that cannot remain overlooked. I will show the areas in which the idea is problematic, what attempts have been made to preserve it, and how social scientific research can move beyond post-Fodorian modularity without losing any valuable insights.



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