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Moving Forward (and Beyond) the Modularity Debate: A Network Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

Modularity is one of the most important concepts used to articulate a theory of cognitive architecture. Over the last 30 years, the debate in many areas of the cognitive sciences and in philosophy of psychology about what modules are, and to what extent our cognitive architecture is modular, has made little progress. After providing a diagnosis of this lack of progress, this article suggests a remedy. It argues that the theoretical framework of network science can be brought to bear on the traditional modularity debate, facilitating our progress in articulating a good theory of the human cognitive architecture.

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Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

I thank Filippo Rossi, Andy Clark, and Tim Bates for discussion of some of the ideas that motivated this article. Charles Rathkopf, Liz Irvine, Carlos Zednik, and Jan Sprenger read and commented on earlier drafts, for which I am sincerely grateful. Rhiannon Bolos was so kind to assist me with copyediting. A special thank you goes to Clark Barrett and an anonymous reviewer for detailed comments and suggestions. This work was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of the priority program New Frameworks of Rationality (SPP 1516).

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