Massive Modularity and Brain Evolution

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):825-838 (2007)

Abstract

Quartz (2002) argues that some recent findings about the evolution of the brain (Finlay & Darlington, 1995) are inconsistent with evolutionary psychologists’ massive modularity hypothesis. In substance, Quartz contends that since the volume of the neocortex evolved in a concerted manner, natural selection did not act on neocortical systems independently of each other, which is a necessary condition for the massive modularity of our cognition to be true. I argue however that Quartz’s argument fails to undermine the massive modularity hypothesis.

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Edouard Machery
University of Pittsburgh

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