modularity of mind

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The notion that cognitive processes are controlled by subsystems that operate as distinct units and with a significant degree of independence from one another. This notion can be traced to the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322bc), who discussed a division of mental functions in De Anima; it formed the basis of the pseudoscience of phrenology, and in more recent times it has been chiefly associated with the writings of the US philosopher Jerry Fodor (born 1935), especially his book The Modularity of Mind (1983).

Subjects: Psychology.

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