Carruthers a is a book-length defense of the massive modularity hypothesis, which deals with the main difficulties for this hypothesis in detail.
Barrett and Kurzban reviews the literature about the modularity of the mind systematically, defending the version of the massive modularity hypothesis developed by evolutionary psychologists. Carruthers b is a brief introduction to the massive modularity hypothesis and a clear discussion of the arguments in its support. Samuels is a useful critical rejoinder. Coltheart presents one of the less stringent notions of module. Barrett, H. Clark, and Robert Kurzban.
DOI: Important review of the enormous literature on modularity. Usefully distinguishes the notion of module developed by Fodor from the notion of module used by evolutionary psychologists. Carruthers, Peter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, a. An important book-length treatment of the hypothesis that the mind is modular. Chapter 1 introduces the various notions of module and reviews in detail the arguments for the massive modularity hypothesis.
Edited by Robert J. Stainton, 3— Malden, MA: Blackwell, b.click
Jonny McIntosh - Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Distinguishes different notions of module. Reviews and defends the arguments for massive modularity, examining which notion of module fits with which argument. Coltheart, Max. Fodor, Jerry A.
Peter Carruthers (philosopher)
Classic book; a necessary read. Proposes that input and linguistic systems are modular, while the systems involved in reasoning and decision are not. Argues that only modules can be studied from a computational perspective. He's proposing a major update to a hotly disputed view, and the update is hugely successful. He argues it well, but the territory that he has to cover in order to get there is dizzying even to those familiar with the technical literature. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is outside the field; it's too much technical work and to referential to a large body of scientific literature that unless you have a familiarity with some of the content of comparative psychology, it is hard to orient yourself.
Carruthers presents an incredibly careful and conservative argument, moving himself away from the modularity of Fodor, cherry-picking the points he thinks can be supported and distancing himself from the ones that can't. In doing this, he comes to stand above the debate in contemporary philosophy of mind regarding massive modularity.
He presents a position palatable to many on either side of the debate, scoring point and articulating ideas thoughtfully and with a careful consideration for those who will likely disagree, or resent his adopting a particular terminology. The book is an exercise in measured finesse. The arguments are ultimately technical ones, and the ideas valuable primarily and perhaps solely to theorists who are interested in the structure of the mind, but for those individuals Carruthers offers a careful and compelling analysis of both the state of play and an approach that is conciliatory and engaging, as well as one that is accessible across the sub-disciplines philosophy, psychology, biology, etc.
For those like me interested in developing a framework for the discussion of the mind into the future, Carruthers is invaluable both for the mass of the material and for the modeling of the approach.
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View all 5 comments. Mar 17, Lakmus rated it really liked it Shelves: scholarly-stuff , non-fiction. I'll be so mad if I don't end up citing this book at least 20 times. As the other reviewer said, this is a technical book. It probably won't even fall into your hands unless you are deep in a university library somewhere. My supervisor recommended this book as general reading around my topic, and yup, extensive notes were taken. Idk, may be this is just good practice in academic texts, but I haven't seen this done this clearly before, so I'm impressed. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
About Peter Carruthers. Peter Carruthers. Books by Peter Carruthers. The final thesis that comprises MM mentions that modules are found not merely at the periphery of the mind but also in the central regions responsible for such higher cognitive capacities as reasoning and decision-making.
Massive modularity and the flexibility of human cognition
The central cognition depends on a great many functional modules that are not themselves composable into larger more inclusive systems. One of the families of arguments for MM focuses on a range of problems that are familiar from the history of cognitive science such as problems that concern the computational tractability of cognitive processes.
The arguments may vary considerably in detail but they share a common format. First, they proceed from the assumption that cognitive processes are classical computational ones. Second, given the assumption that cognitive processes are computational ones, intractability arguments seek to undermine non-modular accounts of cognition by establishing the intractability thesis. Keywords: massive modularity , central modularity , modular mechanisms , cognitive-behavioral flexibility , pipeline architectures.
His research focuses on issues in the philosophy of psychology and the foundations of cognitive science. He has published papers on nativism, cognitive architecture, and the ramifications of empirical psychology for our understanding of human rationality. He is currently writing a book about how to explain the flexibility of human cognition. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase.
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