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The Innate Mind Volume 2: Culture and Cognition$
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Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195310139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310139.001.0001

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Simple Heuristics Meet Massive Modularit y

Simple Heuristics Meet Massive Modularit y

Chapter:
(p.181) 12 Simple Heuristics Meet Massive Modularity
Source:
The Innate Mind
Author(s):

Peter Carruthers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310139.003.0012

This chapter investigates the extent to which claims of massive modular organization of the mind (espoused by some members of the evolutionary psychology research program) are consistent with the main elements of the simple heuristics research program. A number of potential sources of conflict between the two programs are investigated and defused. However, the simple heuristics program turns out to undermine one of the main arguments offered in support of massive modularity, at least as the latter is generally understood by philosophers. So one result of the argument will be to force us to re-examine the way in which the notion of modularity in cognitive science should best be characterized, if the thesis of massive modularity isn't to be abandoned altogether. What is at stake in this discussion is whether there is a well-motivated notion of “module”, such that we have good reason to think that the human mind must be massively modular in its organization. It is argued that there is.

Keywords:   Fodor, encapsulation, evolutionary psychology, tractability

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