Episode 225: Forbidden Modules

11.16.2021 - By Very Bad Wizards

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David and Tamler talk about the often rancorous debate among cognitive scientists and evolutionary psychologists over whether the mind is modular -- composed of discrete systems responsible for vision, reasoning, cheater detection, sexual jealousy, and so on. David and Tamler (mostly David) describe the history of the debate, then dive into a recent paper (Pietraszewski & Wertz, 2021) arguing that virtually all the disagreement is the product of a conceptual and methodological confusion – that the two sides are operating with different levels of analysis and talking past each other as a result.

Plus, we REALLY tried not to talk about the University of Austin thing for the whole opening segment. We had another topic lined up and everything. It just didn’t work out. Cicero would understand. Bari Weiss stans might wanna skip to the main segment. Sponsored By:GiveWell: GiveWell searches for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. We recommend a small number of charities that can do an incredible amount of good. Your donation can make a meaningful difference for some of the poorest people in the world. First-time donors will have their donation matched up to $250 (until funds last). Promo Code: verybadwizardsChess.com: Join chess.com today--you can learn to play, take some lessons to improve, brush up on your game by having the computer analyze your mistakes and recommend lessons to strengthen your skills, and play against your friends or in tournaments. It's free to join, but if you use our link they'll know we sent you!
Promo Code: verybadBetterHelp: You deserve to be happy. BetterHelp online counseling is there for you. Connect with your professional counselor in a safe and private online environment. Our listeners get 10% off the first month by visiting Betterhelp.com/vbw. Promo Code: VBWSupport Very Bad Wizards Links:The University of Austin (UATX)Modularity of Mind (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)Pietraszewski, David, and Annie E. Wertz. "Why evolutionary psychology should abandon modularity." Perspectives on Psychological Science (2021).Break Music: I Am Blue by peez [soundcloud.com]

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