Nativist Models of the Mind

Gnosis 9 (3):1-22 (2008)
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Abstract
I give a defense of the Massive Modularity hypothesis: the view that the mind is composed of discrete, encapsulated, informationally isolated computational structures dedicated to particular problem domains. This view contrasts with Psychological Rationalism: the view that mental structures take the form of unencapsulated representational items, all available as inputs to one domain-general computational processor. I argue that although Psychological Rationalism is in principle able to overcome the `intractability objection', the view must borrow many features of a massively modular architecture in order to do so, that although it can, in principle, overcome the `optimality objection', the way it does so does not correlate with the way we think, and that although it can, in principle, respond to the `argument from biology', it cannot do so without advancing an unrealistic and unsupported account of cognitive evolution.
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First archival date: 2021-05-04
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