David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):475 – 490 (2008)
Experimental studies indicate that nonhuman animals and infants represent numerosities above three or four approximately and that their mental number line is logarithmic rather than linear. In contrast, human children from most cultures gradually acquire the capacity to denote exact cardinal values. To explain this difference, I take an extended mind perspective, arguing that the distinctly human ability to use external representations as a complement for internal cognitive operations enables us to represent natural numbers. Reviewing neuroscientific, developmental, and anthropological evidence, I argue that the use of external media that represent natural numbers (like number words, body parts, tokens or numerals) influences the functional architecture of the brain, which suggests a two-way traffic between the brain and cultural public representations.
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References found in this work BETA
Elizabeth M. Brannon & Herbert S. Terrace (2002). The Evolution and Ontogeny of Ordinal Numerical Ability. In Marc Bekoff, Colin Allen & Gordon M. Burghardt (eds.), The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition. Mit Press. 197--204.
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Citations of this work BETA
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2013). Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions. Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt (2010). The Innateness Hypothesis and Mathematical Concepts. Topoi 29 (1):3-13.
Wojciech Krysztofiak (2012). Indexed Natural Numbers in Mind: A Formal Model of the Basic Mature Number Competence. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 22 (4):433-456.
Peter Woelert (2012). Idealization and External Symbolic Storage: The Epistemic and Technical Dimensions of Theoretic Cognition. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (3):335-366.
Richard Menary & Michael Kirchhoff (2013). Cognitive Transformations and Extended Expertise. Educational Philosophy and Theory:1-14.
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