The generative basis of natural number concepts

Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (6):213-218 (2008)
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Number concepts must support arithmetic inference. Using this principle, it can be argued that the integer concept of exactly ONE is a necessary part of the psychological foundations of number, as is the notion of the exact equality - that is, perfect substitutability. The inability to support reasoning involving exact equality is a shortcoming in current theories about the development of numerical reasoning. A simple innate basis for the natural number concepts can be proposed that embodies the arithmetic principle, supports exact equality and also enables computational compatibility with real- or rational-valued mental magnitudes



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Alan M. Leslie
Rutgers University - New Brunswick