Authors
Colin Allen
University of Pittsburgh
Carlos Zednik
Eindhoven University of Technology
David Landy
San Francisco State University
Abstract
People can be taught to manipulate symbols according to formal mathematical and logical rules. Cognitive scientists have traditionally viewed this capacity—the capacity for symbolic reasoning—as grounded in the ability to internally represent numbers, logical relationships, and mathematical rules in an abstract, amodal fashion. We present an alternative view, portraying symbolic reasoning as a special kind of embodied reasoning in which arithmetic and logical formulae, externally represented as notations, serve as targets for powerful perceptual and sensorimotor systems. Although symbolic reasoning often conforms to abstract mathematical principles, it is typically implemented by perceptual and sensorimotor engagement with concrete environmental structures.
Keywords Symbolic Reasoning  Mathematical Reasoning  Perception  Embodied Cognition
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References found in this work BETA

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
The Origin of Concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.

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Citations of this work BETA

Language as a Disruptive Technology: Abstract Concepts, Embodiment and the Flexible Mind.Guy Dove - 2018 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 1752 (373):1-9.
Number Concepts for the Concept Empiricist.Max Jones - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):334-348.
Fodor on Imagistic Mental Representations.Daniel C. Burnston - 2020 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 11 (1):71-94.

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