Evolutionary psychology and the massive modularity hypothesis

Abstract
In recent years evolutionary psychologists have developed and defended the Massive Modularity Hypothesis, which maintains that our cognitive architecture—including the part that subserves ‘central processing’ —is largely or perhaps even entirely composed of innate, domain-specific computational mechanisms or ‘modules’. In this paper I argue for two claims. First, I show that the two main arguments that evolutionary psychologists have offered for this general architectural thesis fail to provide us with any reason to prefer it to a competing picture of the mind which I call the Library Model of Cognition. Second, I argue that this alternative model is compatible with the central theoretical and methodological commitments of evolutionary psychology. Thus I argue that, at present, the endorsement of the Massive Modularity Hypothesis by evolutionary psychologists is both unwarranted and unmotivated.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/49.4.575
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Modularity in Cognition: Framing the Debate.H. Clark Barrett & Robert Kurzban - 2006 - Psychological Review 113 (3):628-647.
In Two Minds: Dual-Process Accounts of Reasoning.Jonathan StB. T. Evans - 2003 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (10):454-459.
Enzymatic Computation and Cognitive Modularity.H. Barrett Clark - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (3):259-87.
The Theory of Mind Module in Evolutionary Psychology.Philip Gerrans - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):305-21.

View all 36 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
110 ( #49,423 of 2,210,536 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #102,746 of 2,210,536 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature