Modularity and Mental Architecture

WIREs Cognitive Science 4 (6):641-648 (2013)
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Abstract

Debates about the modularity of cognitive architecture have been ongoing for at least the past three decades, since the publication of Fodor’s landmark book The Modularity of Mind (1983). According to Fodor, modularity is essentially tied to informational encapsulation, and as such is only found in the relatively low-level cognitive systems responsible for perception and language. According to Fodor’s critics in the evolutionary psychology camp, modularity simply reflects the fine-grained functional specialization dictated by natural selection, and it characterizes virtually all aspects of cognitive architecture, including high-level systems for judgment, decision making, and reasoning. Though both of these perspectives on modularity have garnered support, the current state of evidence and argument suggests that a broader skepticism about modularity may be warranted.

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Philip Robbins
University of Missouri, Columbia

Citations of this work

Modularity of Mind.Philip Robbins - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modular architectures and informational encapsulation: A dilemma.Dustin Stokes & Vincent Bergeron - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):315-38.
Perception and Its Modalities.Dustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen & Stephen Biggs (eds.) - 2014 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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