LINGUIST List 13.1595

Tue Jun 4 2002

Books: Cognitive Sci: The Mind Doesn't Work That Way

Editor for this issue: Dina Kapetangianni <>

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  1. dgw, The Mind Doesn't Work That Way by Jerry Fodor

Message 1: The Mind Doesn't Work That Way by Jerry Fodor

Date: Tue, 04 Jun 2002 11:49:06 +0000
From: dgw <>
Subject: The Mind Doesn't Work That Way by Jerry Fodor

Title: The Mind Doesn't Work That Way 
Subtitle: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology

Publication Year: 2001
Publisher: MIT Press
Author: Jerry Fodor 

Paperback: ISBN: 0262561468, Pages: 144, Price: $13.95
Comment: Hardcover published 2000

In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view
that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture
of cognition is massively modular, and that the explanation of our
innate mental structure is basically Darwinian. Although Fodor has
praised the computational theory of mind as the best theory of
cognition that we have, he considers it to be only a fragment of the
truth. In fact, he claims, cognitive scientists do not really know
much yet about how the mind works (the book's title refers to Steve
Pinker's How the Mind Works).
Fodor's primary aim is to explore the relationship among nativism,
computational and modular theories of mind, and evolutionary
psychology. He concludes that although we have no grounds to suppose
that most of the mind is modular, we have no idea how nonmodular
cognition could work. Thus, according to Fodor, cognitive science has
hardly gotten started.

Jerry Fodor is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University. His
many books include In Critical Condition (MIT Press, 1998) and The Elm
and the Expert (MIT Press, 1994).

"The Mind Doesn't Work That Way obliges us to dismiss simplistic
assumptions and focus on the hard issues we often hide under the
rug. This book is as important as Modularity of Mind was almost twenty
years ago." - Jacques Mehler, Centre National de Recherche
Scientifique, Paris, and International School for Advanced Studies,

Lingfield(s): Cognitive Science
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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Thursday, January 17, 2002