Chapter

The Architecture of the Modern Mind

Todd Tremlin

in Minds and Gods

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195305340
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784721 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195305345.003.0003
 The Architecture of the Modern Mind

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This chapter presents an overview of the development and architecture of the human brain, and shows what evolutionary history has to do with the nature of cognition today. Drawing on the perspectives and techniques of evolutionary psychology, it pursues the following questions: (1) Given our ancestral world, what kinds of mental structures and functions should we expect to find in the brain, and do we? and (2) What roles do mental structures and functions formed in the Pleistocene world continue to play in “modern” minds? In the course of the discussion, it also outlines contemporary models of the mind — from the “blank slate” view to the idea of massive modularity — and surveys the range of intuitive knowledge (e.g., intuitive biology, intuitive physics, and intuitive psychology) and innate cognitive processes that both shape and constrain human thought.

Keywords: brain development; human cognition; evolutionary psychology; mental modularity; intuitive knowledge; cognitive constraint

Chapter.  13973 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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