Unity: Support From Cognitive Science

Linear Tess
[Photo by Melisande]

Stanovich (2004a) agrees with two central
points of Henriques’ argument (start here). Firstly that human cognitive
architecture can be split into ‘two broad domains’: quick-acting, unconscious
parallel processes and logical-analytic processing, which is linear, slower and
conscious. Secondly, Stanovich (2004a) agrees that the differences between
humans and other animals are central to psychology.
Taking the ‘two broad domains’ first, these
are seen in cognitive psychology in a number of dual-process theories that have
been developed: Stanovich (2004b) identifies 22 of them. How have these
dual-processes arisen? Some evolutionary psychologists argue that hypothetical
thinking was selected for as it allowed humans to understand other minds.
Hypothetical thinking allows a person to imagine ‘possible states of the world’.
Hypothetical thinking is also central, in
Stanovich’s view to the difference between humans and animals rather than
Henriques’ justification processes. Metarepresentational abilities, or
‘thinking about thinking’, represent the ‘cognitive divide’ between humans and
animals. This is where Stanovich (2004a) takes issue with Henriques although he
does agree that justification processes could have been involved in the
development of metarepresentational abilities.
About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder
and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University
College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research
on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits,
Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks.

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.