Cognitive foundations of arithmetic: Evolution and ontogenisis

Mind and Language 16 (1):37–55 (2001)
Dehaene articulates a naturalistic approach to the cognitive foundations of mathematics. Further, he argues that the ‘number line’ system of representation is the evolutionary and ontogenetic foundation of numerical concepts. Here I endorse Dehaene’s naturalistic stance and also his characterization of analog magnitude number representations. Although analog magnitude representations are part of the evolutionary foundations of numerical concepts, I argue that they are unlikely to be part of the ontogenetic foundations of the capacity to represent natural number. Rather, the developmental source of explicit integer list representations of number are more likely to be systems such as the object–file representations that articulate mid–level object based attention, systems that build parallel representations of small sets of individuals
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