Against the “system” module

Philosophical Psychology 30 (3):231-246 (2017)

Abstract
Modularity is a fundamental doctrine in the cognitive sciences. It holds a preeminent position in cognitive psychology and generative linguistics, as well as a long history in neurophysiology, with roots going all the way back to the early nineteenth century. But a mature field of neuroscience is a comparatively recent phenomenon and has challenged orthodox conceptions of the modular mind. One way of accommodating modularity within the new framework suggested by these developments is to go for increasingly soft versions of modularity. One such version, which I call the “system” view, is so soft that it promises to meet practically any challenge neuroscience can throw at it. In this paper, I reconsider afresh what we ought to regard as the sine qua non of modularity and offer a few arguments against the view that an insipid “system” module could be the legitimate successor of the traditional notion.
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DOI 10.1080/09515089.2017.1280145
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Rules and Representations.Noam A. Chomsky - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (127):1-61.

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