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Language and Music as Cognitive Systems$
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Patrick Rebuschat, Martin Rohmeier, John A. Hawkins, and Ian Cross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553426.001.0001

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What remains of modularity?

What remains of modularity?

(p.283) Chapter 29 What remains of modularity?
Language and Music as Cognitive Systems

Mireille Besson

Daniele Schön

Oxford University Press

This chapter further comments on Chapter 27. It focuses on four main points. First, it attempts to clarify what genetics can tell us about the common or distinct origins of music and speech. Second, it examines the evolution of the concept of modularity from Fodor (1983) to Fodor (2000/2003) and what remains of modularity. It argues that if modularity exists it can only be at the level of local mental processes (micro level). Third, the definition of cognitive functions is a difficult problem faced by all cognitive neuroscientists in their empirical investigations. It argues that language and music cannot be considered as entities and that a comparative approach helps defining their constitutive elements. Finally, the inferential power of different approaches is discussed.

Keywords:   music, speech, modularity, Fodor, cognitive functions, language

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