Heartfelt thanks to Ian Apperly, Bill Brewer, John Campbell, David Charles, Naomi Eilan, Ross Harrison, Hemdat Lerman, Johannes Roessler, Jim Russell, Nick Shea, Matt Soteriou, Bart Streumer, and audiences in Laval, Reading, Sussex, Torino and York; most especially to Christoph Hoerl and several very generous anonymous referees whose advice and criticisms drastically improved this paper.
What Are Modules and What Is Their Role in Development?
Article first published online: 13 AUG 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 450–473, September 2007
How to Cite
BUTTERFILL, S. (2007), What Are Modules and What Is Their Role in Development?. Mind & Language, 22: 450–473. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00316.x
- Issue published online: 13 AUG 2007
- Article first published online: 13 AUG 2007
Abstract: 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.