Massively modular minds: Evolutionary psychology and cognitive architecture

In Peter Carruthers (ed.), Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language and Meta-Cognition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 13--46 (2000)
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Abstract

What are the elements from which the human mind is composed? What structures make up our _cognitive architecture?_ One of the most recent and intriguing answers to this question comes from the newly emerging interdisciplinary field of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychologists defend a _massively modular_ conception of mental architecture which views the mind –including those parts responsible for such ‘central processes’ as belief revision and reasoning— as composed largely or perhaps even entirely of innate, special-purpose computational mechanisms or ‘modules’ that have been shaped by natural selection to handle the sorts of recurrent information processing problems that confronted our hunter-gatherer forebears (Cosmides and Tooby,192; Sperber, 1994; Samuels, 1998a)

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Richard Samuels
Ohio State University

Citations of this work

Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modularity of Mind.Philip Robbins - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Rationality and psychology.Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich - 2004 - In Piers Rawling & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 279-300.
Evolutionary psychology, adaptation and design.Stephen M. Downes - 2015 - In Thomas Heams, Philippe Huneman, Guillaume Lecointre & Marc Silberstein (eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Springer. pp. 659-673.

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