The biological bases of mathematical competences: a challenge for AGI

Evolution produced many species whose members are pre-programmed with almost all the competences and knowledge they will ever need. Others appear to start with very little and learn what they need, but appearances can deceive. I conjecture that evolution produced powerful innate meta-knowledge about a class of environments containing 3- D structures and processes involving materials of many kinds. In humans and several other species these innate learning mechanisms seem initially to use exploration techniques to capture a variety of useful generalisations after which there is a "phase transition" in which learnt generalisations are displaced by a new generative architecture that allows novel situations and problems to be dealt with by reasoning -- a pre-cursor to explicit mathematical theorem proving in topology, geometry, arithmetic, and kinematics. This process seems to occur in some non-human animals and in preverbal human toddlers, but is clearest in the switch from pattern-based to syntax-based language use. The discovery of non-linguistic toddler theorems has largely gone unnoticed, though Piaget investigated some of the phenomena, and creative problem solving in some other animals also provides clues. A later evolutionary development seems to have enabled humans to cope with domains that involve both regularities and exceptions, explaining "U-shaped" language learning. Only humans appear to be able to develop meta-meta-competences needed for teaching learnt "theorems" and their proofs. I'll sketch a speculative theory, present examples, and propose a research programme, reducing the 'G' in AGI, while promising increased power in return
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,479
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ingmar Persson & Julian Savulescu (2010). Moral Transhumanism. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):656-669.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #184,338 of 1,925,592 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,223 of 1,925,592 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.