Matthew Katz
Central Michigan University
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 argue that the claim that mental magnitudes represent cardinality approximately overlooks the distinction between a magnitude and the increments that compose to form that magnitude. While magnitudes do indeed represent cardinality approximately, they are composed of a precise number of increments. I argue further that learning the number words and the counting routine may allow one to mark in memory the number of increments that composed to form a magnitude, thereby creating a precise representation of cardinality
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-013-0158-z
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References found in this work BETA

The Origin of Concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Core Systems of Number.Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Lisa Feigenson - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (7):307-314.

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Analog Representations and Their Users.Matthew Katz - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):851-871.

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