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Meditations from Steven Pinker on our Cognitive Faculties

Chances are, Steven Pinker would not use the metaphysical, "meditations" in describing his best attempt at listing the cognitive faculties and the core intuitions on which they are

2 years ago

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Chances are, Steven Pinker would not use the metaphysical, "meditations" in describing his best attempt at listing the cognitive faculties and the core intuitions on which they are based. They are as follows...

I need to rephrase the following...

What are these intuitions? Many cognitive scientists believe that human reasoning is not accomplished by a single, general-purpose computer in the head. The world is a heterogeneous place, and we are equipped with different kinds of intuitions and logics, each appropriate to one department of reality. These ways of knowing have been called systems, modules, stances, faculties, mental organs, multiple intelligences, and reasoning engines. [^1:Caramazza & Shelton, 1998; Gallistel, 2000; Gardner, 1983; Hirschfeld & Gelman, 1994; Keil, 1989; Pinker, 1997, chap. 5; Tooby & Cosmides, 1992.] They emerge early in life, are present in every normal person, and appear to be computed in partly distinct sets of networks in the brain. They may be installed by different combinations of genes, or they may emerge when brain tissue self-organizes in response to different problems to be solved and different patterns in the sensory input. Most likely they develop by some combination of these forces.

What makes our reasoning faculties different from the departments in a university is that they are not just broad areas of knowledge, analyzed with whatever tools work best. Each faculty is based on a core intuition that was suitable for analyzing the world in which we evolved. Though cognitive scientists have not agreed on a Gray’s Anatomy of the mind, here is a tentative but defensible list of cognitive faculties and the core intuitions on which they are based:

Daniel Sanderson

Published 2 years ago