Modularity in cognition: framing the debate.

@article{Barrett2006ModularityIC,
  title={Modularity in cognition: framing the debate.},
  author={H. Clark Barrett and Robert Kurzban},
  journal={Psychological review},
  year={2006},
  volume={113 3},
  pages={
          628-47
        }
}
Modularity has been the subject of intense debate in the cognitive sciences for more than 2 decades. In some cases, misunderstandings have impeded conceptual progress. Here the authors identify arguments about modularity that either have been abandoned or were never held by proponents of modular views of the mind. The authors review arguments that purport to undermine modularity, with particular attention on cognitive architecture, development, genetics, and evolution. The authors propose that… 

Topics from this paper

THE FIRST WAVE : MODEST MODULARITY
Debates about the modularity of cognitive architecture have been ongoing for at least the past three decades, since the publication of Fodor’s landmark book The Modularity of Mind. According to
The modularity debate in evolutionary psychology
The adherence of evolutionary psychology (EP) to the massive modularity thesis has generated considerable controversy. Barrett and Kurzban argue that much of the debate is misplaced because critics
Modularity of Mind
This article evaluates the idea of the modularity of mind and domain specificity. This concept has penetrated the behavioral disciplines, and in the case of some of these—for example, the cognitive
Modularity and mental architecture.
  • P. Robbins
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science
  • 2013
TLDR
The current state of evidence and argument suggests that a broader skepticism about modularity may be warranted, and it is suggested that high-level cognitive systems responsible for judgment, decision making, and reasoning should be questioned.
Adaptive cognition without massive modularity
Abstract Massive modularity theory has replaced classic, Fodorian modularity as a major focus of research within cognitive science. The massive modularity thesis posits that there are a large number
Moving Forward (and Beyond) the Modularity Debate: A Network Perspective
Modularity is one of the most important concepts used to articulate a theory of cognitive architecture. Over the last 30 years, the debate in many areas of the cognitive sciences and in philosophy of
Against the “system” module
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
Concepts and the Modularity of Thought
Having concepts is a distinctive sort of cognitive capacity. One thing that conceptual thought requires is obeying the Generality Constraint: concepts ought to be freely recombinable with other
A module is a module is a module: evolution of modularity in Evolutionary Psychology
TLDR
It is argued that a definition of modules purely in terms of functional specialization marks a shift in Evolutionary Psychology’s theoretical emphasis, as it trivializes the investigation of proximate causes in evolutionary theorizing and leaves the door open to too much flexibility on what counts as evidence for purportedly evolved modules.
Modularity and the Social Mind
  • R. Kurzban, C. Athena Aktipis
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc
  • 2007
TLDR
It is proposed that there are a set of cognitive mechanisms—a social cognitive interface (SCI)—designed for strategic manipulation of others' representations of one's traits, abilities, and prospects.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 205 REFERENCES
Evolutionary Psychology and the Massive Modularity Hypothesis
  • R. Samuels
  • Psychology, Sociology
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 1998
In recent years evolutionary psychologists have developed and defended the Massive Modularity Hypothesis, which maintains that our cognitive architecture—including the part that subserves ‘central
Resolving the debate on innate ideas: Learnability constraints and the evolved interpenetration of motivational and conceptual functions
In order for the study of the human mind and brain to become a successful natural science, a sufficiently large number of researchers must organize their research on the basis of theoretical
Modularity and cognition
  • M. Coltheart
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 1999
TLDR
It is argued that it is nevertheless possible to derive a useful definition of modularity from the kinds of arguments put forward by Fodor: a cognitive system is modular when and only when it is domain-specific.
Modularity, Development and ‘Theory of Mind’
TLDR
This paper attempts to clarify what a modular account of ToM entails, and why it is an attractive type of explanation, and explores how ToM might be grounded in a cognitive module and yet still afford development.
The complexity of cognition: tractability arguments for massive modularity
Acore commitment of contemporary nativism is that human beings possess innate, domain-specific mental structure, not merely for low-level perceptual processes but also for various ‘‘higher’’
The modularity of thought and the epidemiology of representations.
Ten years ago, Jerry Fodor published The Modularity of Mind, a book that received much well-deserved attention. His target was the then-dominant view according to which there are no important
Modules, Brain Parts, and Evolutionary Psychology
The central focus in debates over broad evolutionary psychology is whether mental abilities can be understood as adaptive functions (Davies, 1996, p. 446). Narrow evolutionary psychology1 further
The Mind Doesn't Work That Way : The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology
In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that the
Contemporary debates in cognitive science
Notes on Contributors. Preface. Just How Modular Is The Mind?. 1. The Case for Massively Modular Models of Mind Peter Carruthers. 2. Is the Mind Really Modular? Jesse Prinz. 3. Is the Human Mind
Metaphor, Modularity, and the Evolution of Conceptual Integration
TLDR
This article argues that proponents of demodularization can respond to Sperber's criticisms by assuming that either an expanding database co-evolved with increasingly sophisticated search mechanisms or the cognitive system evolved along connectionist lines.
...
1
2
3
4
5
...