A critical review of Jerry A. Fodor's the mind doesn't work that way [Book Review]

Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):551 – 562 (2002)
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Abstract

The "New Synthesis" in cognitive science is committed to the computational theory of mind (CTM), massive modularity, nativism, and adaptationism. In The mind doesn't work that way , Jerry Fodor argues that CTM has problems explaining abductive or global inference, but that the New Synthesis offers no solution, since massive modularity is in fact incompatible with global cognitive processes. I argue that it is not clear how global human mentation is, so whether CTM is imperiled is an open question. Massive modularity also lacks some of the invidious commitments Fodor ascribes to it. Furthermore, Fodor's anti-adaptationist arguments are in tension with his nativism about the contents of modular systems. The New Synthesis thus has points worth preserving.

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Daniel Weiskopf
Georgia State University

References found in this work

The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture.Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby - 1992 - Oxford University Press. Edited by Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.
Theories of theories of mind.G. Segal, P. Carruthers & K. Smith - 1996 - In Peter Carruthers & Peter K. Smith (eds.), Theories of Theories of Mind. Cambridge University Press.

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