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Causal Inference and Perception in the Treatise and First Enquiry: Hume’s Anticipation of Modularity, Lecture by Louis Loeb (4/25)

Jerry Fodor (American philosopher 1935-2017) has described Hume’s psychology as “something like the ultimate in nonmodular theories of mind.” This is an appealing picture of Hume’s program; perception, memory, and causal inference are special cases of topic-neutral principles of association. Against this, there are precursors of modularity in the Treatise, the more so in the first Enquiry. These works advance key features of cognitive modules– innateness, rapidity, automaticity, encapsulation, and domain-specificity.

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