Robert Kurzban

The modular view is really, really different from the view of the mind that many really, really smart people seem to have of it. Many people, in particular philosophers, think of the mind as unitary. For this reason, they worry a lot about contradictions within the mind. And, really, they can get themselves into a complete tizzy about this. In Self and Deception: A Cross-Cultural Philosophical Enquiry, a whole bunch of philosophers worry a lot about this problem, so much so that you can almost sense them collectively wringing their hands. In one chapter dramatically called “On the Very Possibility of Self-Deception,” the author discusses two subsystems, which he denotes S1 and S2, in the brain of a person. What if S1 believes one thing, but S2 believes another? This can’t possibly be. Why? Because “the person cannot, of course, be both S1 and S2.”

I love this, especially the “of course.”

Robert Kurzban, Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite: Evolution and the Modular Mind, Princeton, 2012, p. 67