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What are Modules and What Is Their Role in Development? (2007)

by Stephen A. Butterfill

---Mind and Language 22(4), pp. 450-73
--- links: external [doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00316.x]


Modules are widely held to play a central role in explaining mental development and in accounts of the mind generally. But there is much disagreement about what modules are, which shows that we do not adequately understand modularity. This paper outlines a Fodoresque approach to understanding one type of modularity. It suggests that we can distinguish modular from nonmodular cognition by reference to the kinds of process involved, and that modular cognition differs from nonmodular forms of cognition in being a special kind of computational process. The paper concludes by considering implications for the role of modules in explaining mental development.