The paper presents an integrated account of the workings of the brain, built up using ideas from Minsky's Society of Mind approach, computer science, and developmental and evolutionary psychology. In the course of development a collection of agents is trained by a virtual 'master plan' that has, as the outcome of evolution by natural selection, acquired the capacity to bring about their cooperative and harmonious development. Evolution has discovered both powerful computational devices such as threads and classes of software objects, and major ways of ensuring fitness such as communication by means of natural language. These two aspects work together in that the one kind of discovery is needed for the other to be possible. The possibilities of the approach are explored through examples such as walking, fetching objects, planning and language use.
Keywords: Nervous system, agents, society of mind, development, evolutionary psychology, language.
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