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Ask not what can you do for modularity but what can modularity do for you

Anderson, M. (1998) Ask not what can you do for modularity but what can modularity do for you. Learning and Individual Differences, 10 (3). pp. 251-257.

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My article in this special issue of the journal focuses on what I take to be the most theoretically significant feature of modularity-the contrast with central processes of thought. Whatever it is modules do we cannot be said to be thinking when they do it. I show how this distinction between modules and thought is crucial to understanding the architectural differences in cognition between individuals of low IQ. In this commentary I turn this theoretical lens onto the other articles in this issue to see how our different notions of modularity might map onto that scheme—if indeed they do. I structure this commentary around three main questions: (1) Do the contributors make the distinction between modular and thoughtful processing? (2) In what ways do their notions of modules differ from mine and in what ways are they similar? (3) How important is the notion of modularity for explaining the pattern of abilities in their selected case studies?

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
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