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The FacultiesA History$
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Dominik Perler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199935253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199935253.001.0001

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Faculties and Modularity

Faculties and Modularity

(p.254) Chapter Six Faculties and Modularity
The Faculties

Rebekka Hufendiek

Markus Wild

Oxford University Press

While theorizing about mental faculties had been in decline throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, cognitivism and classical science brought back questions about the architecture of mind. Within this framework, Jerry Fodor developed a functionalist approach to what he called the “modularity of the mind.” While he believes that cognitive science can only explain the lower faculties of the mind, evolutionary psychology seizes on the notion of modularity and transforms it into the radical claim that the mind is modular all the way up. By comparison, recent approaches that take cognition to be embodied and situated have renewed the radical criticism of faculties or modules that was dominant from the nineteenth century onward. The concept of module is a naturalized successor of the traditional concept of faculty, as this chapter shows, and the debate about modules is centrally a debate about the possibility of naturalizing the mind.

Keywords:   Fodor, modularity, evolutionary psychology, naturalism, embodied cognition

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