Back Cover Blurb
- Bradford Books, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2001.
- Orange underling (mine, unfortunately) throughout the copy.
- In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that the explanation of our innate mental structure is basically Darwinian. Although Fodor has praised the computational theory of mind as the best theory of cognition that we have got, he considers it to be only a fragment of the truth. In fact, he claims, cognitive scientists do not really know much yet about how the mind works (the book's title refers to "Pinker (Steven) - How the Mind Works").
- Fodor's primary aim is to explore the relationship among computational and modular theories of mind, nativism, and evolutionary1 psychology. Along the way, he explains how Chomsky's version of nativism differs from that of the widely received New Synthesis approach. He concludes that although we have no grounds to suppose that most of the mind is modular, we have no idea how non-modular cognition could work. Thus, according to Fodor, cognitive science has hardly gotten started.
- Criticism from within always stings more sharply. When one of computational psychology's peppiest cheerleaders questions the enthusiasm of his fellows, we can expect some juicy, if civil, dialogue ahead. Jerry Fodor does just this in The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology.
- Named to answer "Pinker (Steven) - How the Mind Works", this short, focused and heavy book calls Pinker and others to task for claiming too much for CP. While acknowledging that it's "by far the best theory of cognition that we've got", he expresses concern about the popularisations – and privately held beliefs – that imply that the strongly nativist computational theory explains, or will explain, our conscious and intentional being in toto.
- Using scholarly, diplomatic and sometimes hysterically funny language, Fodor demolishes the notion that CP has anything to say about large-scale or global thinking, and casts doubt on its future prospects.
- Proceeding more scientifically than his scientist colleagues, he proposes that a better theory of mind is looming, and will encompass CP much as relativity encompassed classical mechanics.
- Encouraging debate on the fundamentals of this increasingly popular theory, especially within the ranks of its adherents, can only be good for the theory and for cognitive science itself.
- The Mind Doesn't Work That Way follows in the great philosophical tradition of clobbering ideas in order to make them stronger, and provides a great mental workout for the reader.
… Rob Lightner
"Fodor (Jerry) - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: Introduction - Still Snowing"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Introduction
"Fodor (Jerry) - Varieties Of Nativism"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Chapter 1
- Chomsky’s Nativism
- The New Synthesis
- Rational Psychology
- What, Then, Are Syntactic Properties?
"Fodor (Jerry) - Syntax And Its Discontents"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Chapter 2
- Wherein It Starts To Snow
- ‘Internal’ And ‘External’ Syntax
- Practice Probably Proves The Pudding
"Fodor (Jerry) - Two Ways That You Probably Can’t Explain Abduction"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Chapter 3
- Heuristic Solutions Of The Abduction Problem
- Abduction and Connectionism
"Fodor (Jerry) - How Many Modules Would You Say There Are"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Chapter 4
- What Is A Module?
- Modularity Without Encapsulation
- Domain Specificity
- Informational Encapsulation
- Massive Modularity
- A Priori Arguments For Massive Modularity
- An A Priori Argument Against Massive Modularity
"Fodor (Jerry) - Darwin Among The Modules"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Chapter 5
- Bad Arguments Why Evolutionary1 Psychology Is A Priori Inevitable
"Fodor (Jerry) - Why Are We So Good At Catching Cheaters?"
Source: Fodor - The Mind Doesn't Work That Way, 2000, Appendix
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)