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Apr 1983
ISBN 0262560259
192 pp.
The Modularity of Mind
Jerry A. Fodor

"The issue Fodor writes about is central to the psychology of perception, cognition, and action. It is the central issue for anyone who would seriously study the neurobiology of behavior: Is the mind organized horizontally or vertically or both, and what are the consequences to psychology of proceeding on one assumption or the other? This has been little analyzed and written about. Jerry Fodor has repaired that omission and had done it brilliantly."
- Alvin Liberman, Yale University, President, Haskins Laboratories

This study synthesizes current information from the various fields of cognitive science in support of a new and exciting theory of mind. Most psychologists study horizontal processes like memory and information flow; Fodor postulates a vertical and modular psychological organization underlying biologically coherent behaviors. This view of mental architecture is consistent with the historical tradition of faculty psychology while integrating a computational approach to mental processes. One of the most notable aspects of Fodor's work is that it articulates features not only of speculative cognitive architectures but also of current research in artificial intelligence.

"Jerry Fodor's Modularity of Mind is a beginning ... [It] is the first major monograph in this century to explore some variations on faculty psychology [and] is the best thing Fodor has done since The Language of Thought, mainly because it takes such a wide sweep and yet manages to concentrate all the arguments upon the central issue in both neuropsychology and information-processing psychology."
- John C. Marshall, The Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford

Jerry A. Fodor is Professor of Psychology and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at MIT.

Table of Contents
1 Four Accounts of Mental Structure
2 A Functional Taxonomy of Cognitive Mechanisms
3 Input Systems as Modules
4 Central Systems
5 Caveats and Conclusions
Related Topics
Linguistics, Language
Psychology, Cognitive Science

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