Is the Human Mind Massively Modular?

William Costello
12 min readMar 14, 2022

The modularity of mind debate centers around whether human minds consist of discrete neural units with distinct functions. A central arena for the debate is evolutionary psychology and “massive modularity”. This essay gives a brief history of our attempts to map the brain to function, critically appraises some key ideas, including Fodorian modularity, while offering empirical evidence to address some criticisms of evolutionary psychology’s modularity.

It is important to acknowledge some shameful aspects of early attempts to map the brain to function, including…

William Costello

Psychology PhD Student University of Texas at Austin. MSc Psychology, Culture and Evolution from Brunel University London 2020/21. Bylines: Areo and Quillette.