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  1. A Cognitive Perspective on Scientific Realism.Michael Vlerick - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (8):1157-1178.
    The debate about scientific realism is concerned with the relation between our scientific theories and the world. Scientific realists argue that our best theories or components of those theories correspond to the world. Anti-realists deny such a correspondence. Traditionally, this central issue in the philosophy of science has been approached by focusing on the theories themselves (e.g., by looking at theory change or the underlying experimental context). I propose a relatively unexplored way to approach this old debate. In addition to (...)
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  • Indexed Natural Numbers in Mind: A Formal Model of the Basic Mature Number Competence. [REVIEW]Wojciech Krysztofiak - 2012 - Axiomathes 22 (4):433-456.
    The paper undertakes three interdisciplinary tasks. The first one consists in constructing a formal model of the basic arithmetic competence, that is, the competence sufficient for solving simple arithmetic story-tasks which do not require any mathematical mastery knowledge about laws, definitions and theorems. The second task is to present a generalized arithmetic theory, called the arithmetic of indexed numbers (INA). All models of the development of counting abilities presuppose the common assumption that our simple, folk arithmetic encoded linguistically in the (...)
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  • Natural Selection Does Care About Truth.Maarten Boudry & Michael Vlerick - unknown
    True beliefs are better guides to the world than false ones. This is the commonsense assumption that undergirds theorizing in evolutionary epistemology. According to Alvin Plantinga, however, evolution by natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness. If our cognitive faculties are the products of blind evolution, we have no reason to trust them, anytime or anywhere. Evolutionary naturalism, consequently, is a self-defeating position. Following up on earlier objections, we uncover three additional flaws in Plantinga's latest (...)
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  • Dimensions of Integration in Embedded and Extended Cognitive Systems.Richard Heersmink - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (3):577-598.
    The complementary properties and functions of cognitive artifacts and other external resources are integrated into the human cognitive system to varying degrees. The goal of this paper is to develop some of the tools to conceptualize this complementary integration between agents and artifacts. It does so by proposing a multidimensional framework, including the dimensions of information flow, reliability, durability, trust, procedural transparency, informational transparency, individualization, and transformation. The proposed dimensions are all matters of degree and jointly they constitute a multidimensional (...)
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  • Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
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  • Biological Constraints Do Not Entail Cognitive Closure.Michael Vlerick - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:21-27.
    From the premise that our biology imposes cognitive constraints on our epistemic activities, a series of prominent authors – most notably Fodor, Chomsky and McGinn – have argued that we are cognitively closed to certain aspects and properties of the world. Cognitive constraints, they argue, entail cognitive closure. I argue that this is not the case. More precisely, I detect two unwarranted conflations at the core of arguments deriving closure from constraints. The first is a conflation of what I will (...)
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  • The Motion Behind the Symbols: A Vital Role for Dynamism in the Conceptualization of Limits and Continuity in Expert Mathematics.Tyler Marghetis & Rafael Núñez - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (2):299-316.
    The canonical history of mathematics suggests that the late 19th-century “arithmetization” of calculus marked a shift away from spatial-dynamic intuitions, grounding concepts in static, rigorous definitions. Instead, we argue that mathematicians, both historically and currently, rely on dynamic conceptualizations of mathematical concepts like continuity, limits, and functions. In this article, we present two studies of the role of dynamic conceptual systems in expert proof. The first is an analysis of co-speech gesture produced by mathematics graduate students while proving a theorem, (...)
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  • Mathematical Symbols as Epistemic Actions.De Cruz Helen & De Smedt Johan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):3-19.
    Recent experimental evidence from developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience indicates that humans are equipped with unlearned elementary mathematical skills. However, formal mathematics has properties that cannot be reduced to these elementary cognitive capacities. The question then arises how human beings cognitively deal with more advanced mathematical ideas. This paper draws on the extended mind thesis to suggest that mathematical symbols enable us to delegate some mathematical operations to the external environment. In this view, mathematical symbols are not only used to (...)
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  • Current Perspectives on Cognitive Diversity.Andrea Bender & Sieghard Beller - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Cognitive Innovation, Cumulative Cultural Evolution, and Enculturation.Regina E. Fabry - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (5):375-395.
    Cognitive innovation has shaped and transformed our cognitive capacities throughout history. Until recently, cognitive innovation has not received much attention by empirical and conceptual research in the cognitive sciences. This paper is a first attempt to help close this gap. It will be argued that cognitive innovation is best understood in connection with cumulative cultural evolution and enculturation. Cumulative cultural evolution plays a vital role for the inter-generational transmission of the products of cognitive innovation. Furthermore, there are at least two (...)
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  • Cognitive Transformations and Extended Expertise.Richard Menary & Michael Kirchhoff - 2014 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6):1-14.
    Expertise is extended by becoming immersed in cultural practices. We look at an example of mathematical expertise in which immersion in cognitive practices results in the transformation of expert performance.
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  • Dimensions of Integration in Embedded and Extended Cognitive Systems.Richard Heersmink - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):577-598.
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  • A Historically and Philosophically Informed Approach to Mathematical Metaphors.Roy Wagner - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):109-135.
    This article discusses the concept of mathematical metaphor as a tool for analyzing the formation of mathematical knowledge. It reflects on the work of Lakoff and Núñez as a reference point against which to rearticulate a richer notion of mathematical metaphor that can account for actual mathematical evolution. To reach its goal this article analyzes historical case studies, draws on cognitive research, and applies lessons from the history of metaphors in philosophy as analyzed by Derrida and de Man.
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  • Sculpting the Space of Actions. Explaining Human Action by Integrating Intentions and Mechanisms.Machiel Keestra - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Amsterdam
    How can we explain the intentional nature of an expert’s actions, performed without immediate and conscious control, relying instead on automatic cognitive processes? How can we account for the differences and similarities with a novice’s performance of the same actions? Can a naturalist explanation of intentional expert action be in line with a philosophical concept of intentional action? Answering these and related questions in a positive sense, this dissertation develops a three-step argument. Part I considers different methods of explanations in (...)
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  • Idealization and External Symbolic Storage: The Epistemic and Technical Dimensions of Theoretic Cognition.Peter Woelert - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (3):335-366.
    This paper explores some of the constructive dimensions and specifics of human theoretic cognition, combining perspectives from (Husserlian) genetic phenomenology and distributed cognition approaches. I further consult recent psychological research concerning spatial and numerical cognition. The focus is on the nexus between the theoretic development of abstract, idealized geometrical and mathematical notions of space and the development and effective use of environmental cognitive support systems. In my discussion, I show that the evolution of the theoretic cognition of space apparently follows (...)
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  • Mental Magnitudes and Increments of Mental Magnitudes.Matthew Katz - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):675-703.
    There is at present a lively debate in cognitive psychology concerning the origin of natural number concepts. At the center of this debate is the system of mental magnitudes, an innately given cognitive mechanism that represents cardinality and that performs a variety of arithmetical operations. Most participants in the debate argue that this system cannot be the sole source of natural number concepts, because they take it to represent cardinality approximately while natural number concepts are precise. In this paper, I (...)
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  • How Numerals Support New Cognitive Capacities.Stefan Buijsman - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    Mathematical cognition has become an interesting case study for wider theories of cognition. Menary :1–20, 2015) argues that arithmetical cognition not only shows that internalist theories of cognition are wrong, but that it also shows that the Hypothesis of Extended Cognition is right. I examine this argument in more detail, to see if arithmetical cognition can support such conclusions. Specifically, I look at how the use of numerals extends our arithmetical abilities from quantity-related innate systems to systems that can deal (...)
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  • The Innateness Hypothesis and Mathematical Concepts.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2010 - Topoi 29 (1):3-13.
    In historical claims for nativism, mathematics is a paradigmatic example of innate knowledge. Claims by contemporary developmental psychologists of elementary mathematical skills in human infants are a legacy of this. However, the connection between these skills and more formal mathematical concepts and methods remains unclear. This paper assesses the current debates surrounding nativism and mathematical knowledge by teasing them apart into two distinct claims. First, in what way does the experimental evidence from infants, nonhuman animals and neuropsychology support the nativist (...)
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