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  1. Massive modularity and the flexibility of human cognition
  2. The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge - Peter Carruthers - Google книги
  3. Samenvatting
  4. The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge

Or does language itself play a role in the formation of our thought?

Massive modularity and the flexibility of human cognition

The question is called critical, since a positive response to the latter language does play a role would call into question the assumption that all meaning is reducible to mentalese. This is a curious idea. The alleged correlation is not empirically grounded. We should more properly, in the context of a thesis of massive mental modularity, talk about languages of thought, or Mentales es. Architecture was recommended to me by one of my heroes in academic philosophy, Ned Block, as a way to take a philosophical look at cognitive psychology and especially comparative psychology.

It lived up to the strong recommendation that it was given, and then some. First of all, this is an incredibly technical work, especially the opening few chapters which work a lot in cognitive and comparative psychology. Carruthers has a lot of ground to cover, and does so rather quickly.

He basically has to Architecture was recommended to me by one of my heroes in academic philosophy, Ned Block, as a way to take a philosophical look at cognitive psychology and especially comparative psychology. He basically has to update his version of modularity to distance it from the classical view proposed by Jerry Fodor decades ago. 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.

The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge - Peter Carruthers - Google книги

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.


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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. 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.


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  • It probably won't even fall into your hands unless you are deep in a university library somewhere. In This Article 1. What Is at Issue? Composition Thesis 1. Plurality Thesis 1. Central Modularity 2. Massive Modularity and Evolution 2.

    Samenvatting

    Evolvability 2. Task Specificity 3. Computational Tractability and Relevance 3. Informational Impoverishment 3.

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    Relevance Problems 3. The Locality Argument 3. Modularity and Tractability 4. Problems of Cognitive-Behavioral Flexibility 4.

    The Opacity of Mind: An Integrative Theory of Self-Knowledge

    Representational Flexibility 4. Behavioral Flexibility and Flow of Control 4. Conclusion References Notes. Related Content Functionalism Cognitive Science. Abstract and Keywords The objective of the article is to discuss the evolution, hypothesis, and some the more prominent arguments for massive modularity MM.