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How could a massively modular mind exhibit context-sensitivity?

Dan Sperber

Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS, EHESS & ENS), Paris

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Fodor maintains that a massively modular mind, unlike the human mind, couldn't be context-sensitive.  Drawing on Relevance Theory, I argue that, in a massively modular mind where modules compete for resources, an "invisible hand" beneficial effect may result from this competition, dynamically selecting contextually relevant inputs for actual processing.  I outline some implication of this claim for evolutionary and for experimental cognitive psychology.

Dan Sperber