Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Innate MindStructure and Contents$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence, and Stephen Stich

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179675.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 13 November 2019

The Complexity of Cognition

The Complexity of Cognition

Tractability Arguments for Massive Modularity*

Chapter:
(p.107) 7 The Complexity of Cognition
Source:
The Innate Mind
Author(s):

Richard Samuels (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179675.003.0007

This chapter examines the scope and limits of the tractability argument. It argues for two claims. First, that when explored with appropriate care and attention, it becomes clear that the argument provides no good reason to prefer massive modularity to the more traditional rationalist alternative. Second, while it is denied that tractability considerations support massive modularity per se, this does not mean that they show nothing whatsoever. Careful analysis of tractability considerations suggests a range of characteristics that any plausible version of psychological rationalism is likely to possess. The chapter proceeds as follows: Section 1 outlines and clarifies the general form of the tractability argument. Section 2 explains how massive modularity is supposed to resolve intractability worries. Sections 3 to 7 highlight the deficiencies of the main extant arguments for claiming that nonmodular mechanisms are intractable. Section 8 concludes by sketching some of the general characteristics that a plausible rationalist alternative to massive modularity — one capable of subserving tractable cognitive processes — is likely to possess.

Keywords:   tractability, massive modularity, psychological rationalism, cognitive processes, nonmodular mechanisms

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .