Jerry Fodor’s Modularity of Mind is a beginning [It] is the first major monograph in this century to explore some variations on faculty psychology [and] is the best. Where Fodor (, ) draws the line of modularity at the Perceptual plasticity and theoretical neutrality: A reply to Jerry Fodor. John C. Marshall, The Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, – Alvin Liberman, Yale University, President, Haskins Laboratories ” Jerry Fodor’s “Modularity of Mind “is a.
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Modularity of mind
This study synthesizes current information from the various fields of cognitive science in support of a new and exciting theory of mind. Most psychologists study horizontal processes like memory and information flow; Fodor postulates a vertical and modular psychological organization underlying biologically coherent behaviors.
This view of mental architecture is mijd This study synthesizes current information from the various fields of cognitive science in support of a new and exciting theory of mind. This view of mental architecture is consistent with the historical tradition of faculty psychology while integrating a computational approach to mental processes. One of the most notable aspects of Fodor’s work is that it articulates features not only of speculative cognitive architectures but also of current research in artificial intelligence.
Paperbackpages. Published April 6th by Bradford Book first published December 31st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Modularity of Mindplease sign up. Be the first fofor ask a question about The Modularity of Mind. Lists with This Book. Nov 26, charlotte rated it it was ok Shelves: May 08, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: I would put this in the psychology section of a library before I would put it jerryy the philosophy section.
Specifically, the cognitive psychology section. Fodor argues for three major points: Many central processing systems e. Scientific study have been, and I would put this in the psychology section of a library before I would put it in the philosophy section. Scientific study have been, and will be, limited to modular structures.
And thus, “The limits of modularity are also likely to be the limits of what we are going to be able to understand about the mind, given anything like the theoretical apparatus modularlty available. This books has loads of interesting psychological studies and is useful for philosophy of mind. Jul 19, Holcombea rated it it was amazing. Big influence on my scientific thinking, ever since reading it as an undergraduate.
Oct 12, Kevin rated it really liked it Shelves: A milestone within the cognitive psychology tradition. This extended argument for the modularity of input systems reoriented the field back when it was published inand responses continue to emerge to this day. Modularity Of Mind is one of those rare books that combine a formidable vocabulary with a concise communicative style.
Fodor’s dry humor and deep familiarity with relevant empirical results redeemed the occasionally abstruse discussion. The author’s penchant for polemics was not appa A milestone within the cognitive psychology tradition.
The author’s penchant for polemics was not apparent in this essay. Five sections divide the work: While discussing Neo-Cartesianism, Fodor draws the distinction between innate faculties: Specifically, there are two kinds of reactions to the tabula rasa. The first is to propose that the mind does not begin life completely undifferentiated; rather, infants come into the world already possessing “cognitive furniture”, such as image rendering engines.
The second kind of reaction is to claim that humans are born with a certain set of pre-installed knowledge e. Horizontal modular theories are those that would have cognitive furniture be domain-general. Such ideas go back to ancient Greece; a good current exemplar is what modern psychology believes about long-term memory. Vertical modular theories hold cognitive furniture to be domain-specific. Rather than fractionating the mind into perception, memory, and motivational modules, vertical theorists such as Franz Gall father of phrenology would insist on different modules for mathematics, music, poetry, etc.
Modularity of mind – Wikipedia
Gall would go on to say that there is no such thing as domain-general memory. If there are similarities between musical memory and mathematical memory, that is merely a coincidental similarity across module implementations. Unsurprisingly, given the author’s functionalist credentials, arguments are presented that purport to demonstrate the inadequacy of the movement. Fodor moodularity a three-tier mental architecture: The brain is thought to transduce signals via sensory organs, and feed such foor data to input processing systems.
These iteratively raise the level of abstraction, saving intermediate results into states known as interlayers. Finally, the final results of the input systems are presented to the central systems, which are responsible for binding them fidor coherent beliefs with the help of background knowledge.
Interestingly, Fodor holds that language processing is its own sensory fdoor, distinct from acoustic processing, and that this system encapsulates the entire lexicon. Organism output behavior was not considered. Input Systems As Modules The most empirically rich and impactful section.
I will briefly sketch each subsection. There modularuty to be separate mechanisms to process distinct stimuli. While several systems may share select resources, they never share information. While human beings can ignore their phenomenological experiences, they cannot consciously repress them. Introspection cannot unearth the intermediate states of visual stimuli transformation, only the finished product.
Driven by evolutionary pressures, sensory processing is fdoor rapid. For example, many people are able produce a mirrored language stream that trails the original by an astonishing one-quarter of a second. There are few to none feedback loops that inform sensory processing.
Input systems do not issue beliefs, but rather non-conceptual “shallow” information. Other systems are responsible for subsequent conceptual fixation. In contrast with central processes, input systems appear to be localized to specific neural locations e.
Brain damage is associated with selective, severe failures of input processing, not general deficiency introduction. Cognitive structural maturation occurs in an innately-specified way.
Informational encapsulation is singled out as the most important element of the thesis. This feature explains how an organism protects its raw percepts from contamination from its own biases. Constraining information flow is essential to human beings, and this feature goes a long way in motivating the existence of the others.
During his discussion of shallow outputs, Fodor makes an interesting observation about conceptual fixation. Human concepts are organized hierarchically: Central non-modular systems must locate their conclusions at a specific level within this hierarchy. Interestingly, beliefs tend to fixate at a particular level e. It tends to be: These facts call out for explanation and further research. Central Systems Fodor perceives little evidence to explicate central processes, so he reverts to analogy.
Scientific confirmation is presented as an analogue of psychological belief fixation. An enthusiast of Quinean naturalized epistemology, Fodor is also sympathetic to Quinean holism: But requiring unconstrained information transfer is a recipe for intractable computation. This is the deep trouble underlying the framing problem of artificial intelligence.
According to Fodor, intractability is precisely why academic journals tend to avoid topics of general intelligence. I found the previous section on input modules to be of greater import.
If this section characterized the entirety of the text, the reader would be better advised to research modern probabilistic graphical models, and attempts within the AI community to approximate universal induction. Caveats and Conclusions The essay concludes with a few comments regarding modularity and epistemic boundedness “are there truths that we are not capable of grasping? After reviewing the historical discussion surrounded bounded cognition, Fodor ultimately has little to say on the matter, arguing that this conversation should proceed with little appeal to concepts of modularity.
He closes with self-styled gloomy remarks about how our best thinkers have consistently evaluated local phenomena more effectively than global phenomena c. An incisive, important text that helps to place modern cognitive science debates in sharper focus. Oct 28, Jesse rated it it was amazing. Natural kinds are the, as they say, “truth-makers” a vulgar and yet somehow technical term of the scientific enterprise.
Roughly, they’re the genera which guarantee that linguistically expressed law-like regularities will possibly! Well, if that’s the case, then we definitely want to know: Well, what aren’t natural kinds?
Um, probably doorknobs or any artifact. Doorknobs aren’t natural kinds because, well, there just aren’t any interesting Natural kinds are the, as they say, “truth-makers” a vulgar and yet somehow technical term of the scientific enterprise. Doorknobs aren’t natural kinds because, well, there just aren’t any interesting mind-independent laws one could say about them.