chapter  1
34 Pages

Mental Modularity and Cultural Diversity 1

WithDan Sperber

In The Modularity of Mind, published in 1983, Jerry Fodor attacked the then dominant view according to which there are no important discontinuities between perceptual processes and conceptual processes. Information flows freely, 'up' and 'down', between these two kinds of processes, and beliefs inform perception as much as they are informed by it. Against this view, Fodor argued that perceptual processes (and also linguistic decoding) are carried out by specialized, rather rigid mechanisms. Each of these 'modules' has its own proprietary data base, and does not draw on information produced by conceptual processes.