What perception is doing, and what it is not doing, in mathematical reasoning

What is perception doing in mathematical reasoning? To address this question, I discuss the role of perception in geometric reasoning. Perception of the shape properties of concrete diagrams provides, I argue, a surrogate consciousness of the shape properties of the abstract geometric objects depicted in the diagrams. Some of what perception is not doing in mathematical reasoning is also discussed. I take issue with both Parsons and Maddy. Parsons claims that we perceive a certain type of abstract object. Maddy claims (at least at one time claimed) that perception provides the basis for intuition of mathematical sets. 1 Mathematical reasoning with diagrams 2 Do we perceive abstract objects? 3 Do we perceive mathematical sets?
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/53.2.205
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