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  1. added 2019-11-01
    The Material Origin of Numbers: Insights From the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East.Karenleigh Overmann - 2019 - Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA: Gorgias Press.
    What are numbers, and where do they come from? A novel answer to these timeless questions is proposed by cognitive archaeologist Karenleigh A. Overmann, based on her groundbreaking study of material devices used for counting in the Ancient Near East—fingers, tallies, tokens, and numerical notations—as interpreted through the latest neuropsychological insights into human numeracy and literacy. The result, a unique synthesis of interdisciplinary data, outlines how number concepts would have been realized in a pristine original condition to develop into one (...)
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  2. added 2019-10-31
    Concepts and How They Get That Way.Karenleigh A. Overmann - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (1):153-168.
    Drawing on the material culture of the Ancient Near East as interpreted through Material Engagement Theory, the journey of how material number becomes a conceptual number is traced to address questions of how a particular material form might generate a concept and how concepts might ultimately encompass multiple material forms so that they include but are irreducible to all of them together. Material forms incorporated into the cognitive system affect the content and structure of concepts through their agency and affordances, (...)
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  3. added 2019-10-31
    Thinking Materially: Cognition as Extended and Enacted.Karenleigh A. Overmann - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 17 (3-4):354-373.
    Human cognition is extended and enacted. Drawing the boundaries of cognition to include the resources and attributes of the body and materiality allows an examination of how these components interact with the brain as a system, especially over cultural and evolutionary spans of time. Literacy and numeracy provide examples of multigenerational, incremental change in both psychological functioning and material forms. Though we think materiality, its central role in human cognition is often unappreciated, for reasons that include conceptual distribution over multiple (...)
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  4. added 2019-10-31
    Book Review: Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas, Written by Geoffrey B. Saxe. [REVIEW]Karenleigh A. Overmann - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 14 (3-4):331-333.
    A review of Geoffrey B. Saxe, Cultural Development of Mathematical Ideas. Saxe offers a comprehensive treatment of social and linguistic change in the number systems used for economic exchange in the Oksapmin community of Papua New Guinea. By taking the cognition-is-social approach, Saxe positions himself within emerging perspectives that view cognition as enacted, situated, and extended. The approach is somewhat risky in that sociality surely does not exhaust cognition. Brains, bodies, and materiality also contribute to cognition—causally at least, and possibly (...)
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  5. added 2019-10-31
    The Prehistory of Number Concept.Karenleigh A. Overmann, Thomas Wynn & Frederick L. Coolidge - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):142-144.
    Carey leaves unaddressed an important evolutionary puzzle: In the absence of a numeral list, how could a concept of natural number ever have arisen in the first place? Here we suggest that the initial development of natural number must have bootstrapped on a material culture scaffold of some sort, and illustrate how this might have occurred using strings of beads.
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  6. added 2019-09-15
    The Cultural Challenge in Mathematical Cognition.Andrea Bender, Dirk Schlimm, Stephen Crisomalis, Fiona M. Jordan, Karenleigh A. Overmann & Geoffrey B. Saxe - 2018 - Journal of Numerical Cognition 2 (4):448–463.
    In their recent paper on “Challenges in mathematical cognition”, Alcock and colleagues (Alcock et al. [2016]. Challenges in mathematical cognition: A collaboratively-derived research agenda. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2, 20-41) defined a research agenda through 26 specific research questions. An important dimension of mathematical cognition almost completely absent from their discussion is the cultural constitution of mathematical cognition. Spanning work from a broad range of disciplines – including anthropology, archaeology, cognitive science, history of science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology – we (...)
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  7. added 2019-07-02
    The Small Number System.Eric Margolis - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):113-134.
    I argue that the human mind includes an innate domain-specific system for representing precise small numerical quantities. This theory contrasts with object-tracking theories and with domain-general theories that only make use of mental models. I argue that there is a good amount of evidence for innate representations of small numerical quantities and that such a domain-specific system has explanatory advantages when infants’ poor working memory is taken into account. I also show that the mental models approach requires previously unnoticed domain-specific (...)
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  8. added 2019-04-26
    Introduction.Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 1-13.
    There has been little overt discussion of the experimental philosophy of logic or mathematics. So it may be tempting to assume that application of the methods of experimental philosophy to these areas is impractical or unavailing. This assumption is undercut by three trends in recent research: a renewed interest in historical antecedents of experimental philosophy in philosophical logic; a “practice turn” in the philosophies of mathematics and logic; and philosophical interest in a substantial body of work in adjacent disciplines, such (...)
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  9. added 2019-01-19
    A New Applied Approach for Executing Computations with Infinite and Infinitesimal Quantities.Yaroslav D. Sergeyev - 2008 - Informatica 19 (4):567-596.
    A new computational methodology for executing calculations with infinite and infinitesimal quantities is described in this paper. It is based on the principle ‘The part is less than the whole’ introduced by Ancient Greeks and applied to all numbers (finite, infinite, and infinitesimal) and to all sets and processes (finite and infinite). It is shown that it becomes possible to write down finite, infinite, and infinitesimal numbers by a finite number of symbols as particular cases of a unique framework. The (...)
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  10. added 2019-01-16
    What Frege Asked Alex the Parrot: Inferentialism, Number Concepts, and Animal Cognition.Erik Nelson - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32:1-22.
    While there has been significant philosophical debate on whether nonlinguistic animals can possess conceptual capabilities, less time has been devoted to considering 'talking' animals, such as parrots. When they are discussed, their capabilities are often downplayed as mere mimicry. The most explicit philosophical example of this can be seen in Brandom's frequent comparisons of parrots and thermostats. Brandom argues that because parrots (like thermostats) cannot grasp the implicit inferential connections between concepts, their vocal articulations do not actually have any conceptual (...)
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  11. added 2018-12-17
    Numerical Infinities and Infinitesimals: Methodology, Applications, and Repercussions on Two Hilbert Problems.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2017 - EMS Surveys in Mathematical Sciences 4 (2):219–320.
    In this survey, a recent computational methodology paying a special attention to the separation of mathematical objects from numeral systems involved in their representation is described. It has been introduced with the intention to allow one to work with infinities and infinitesimals numerically in a unique computational framework in all the situations requiring these notions. The methodology does not contradict Cantor’s and non-standard analysis views and is based on the Euclid’s Common Notion no. 5 “The whole is greater than the (...)
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  12. added 2018-12-17
    The Exact (Up to Infinitesimals) Infinite Perimeter of the Koch Snowflake and its Finite Area.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2016 - Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation 31 (1-3):21–29.
    The Koch snowflake is one of the first fractals that were mathematically described. It is interesting because it has an infinite perimeter in the limit but its limit area is finite. In this paper, a recently proposed computational methodology allowing one to execute numerical computations with infinities and infinitesimals is applied to study the Koch snowflake at infinity. Numerical computations with actual infinite and infinitesimal numbers can be executed on the Infinity Computer being a new supercomputer patented in USA and (...)
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  13. added 2018-12-17
    The Difficulty of Prime Factorization is a Consequence of the Positional Numeral System.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2016 - International Journal of Unconventional Computing 12 (5-6):453–463.
    The importance of the prime factorization problem is very well known (e.g., many security protocols are based on the impossibility of a fast factorization of integers on traditional computers). It is necessary from a number k to establish two primes a and b giving k = a · b. Usually, k is written in a positional numeral system. However, there exists a variety of numeral systems that can be used to represent numbers. Is it true that the prime factorization is (...)
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  14. added 2018-12-17
    The Olympic Medals Ranks, Lexicographic Ordering and Numerical Infinities.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2015 - The Mathematical Intelligencer 37 (2):4-8.
    Several ways used to rank countries with respect to medals won during Olympic Games are discussed. In particular, it is shown that the unofficial rank used by the Olympic Committee is the only rank that does not allow one to use a numerical counter for ranking – this rank uses the lexicographic ordering to rank countries: one gold medal is more precious than any number of silver medals and one silver medal is more precious than any number of bronze medals. (...)
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  15. added 2018-08-15
    Testimony and Children’s Acquisition of Number Concepts.Helen De Cruz - 2018 - In Sorin Bangu (ed.), Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge. Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. London, UK: pp. 172-186.
    An enduring puzzle in philosophy and developmental psychology is how young children acquire number concepts, in particular the concept of natural number. Most solutions to this problem conceptualize young learners as lone mathematicians who individually reconstruct the successor function and other sophisticated mathematical ideas. In this chapter, I argue for a crucial role of testimony in children’s acquisition of number concepts, both in the transfer of propositional knowledge (e.g., the cardinality concept), and in knowledge-how (e.g., the counting routine).
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  16. added 2017-10-20
    Infants, Animals, and the Origins of Number.Eric Margolis - 2017 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 40.
    Where do human numerical abilities come from? This article is a commentary on Leibovich et al.’s “From 'sense of number' to 'sense of magnitude' —The role of continuous magnitudes in numerical cognition”. Leibovich et al. argue against nativist views of numerical development by noting limitations in newborns’ vision and limitations regarding newborns’ ability to individuate objects. I argue that these considerations do not undermine competing nativist views and that Leibovich et al.'s model itself presupposes that infant learners have numerical representations.
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  17. added 2017-03-12
    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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  18. added 2017-02-12
    Education Enhances the Acuity of the Nonverbal Approximate Number System.Manuela Piazza, Pierre Pica, Véronique Izard, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene - 2013 - Psychological Science 24 (4):p.
    All humans share a universal, evolutionarily ancient approximate number system (ANS) that estimates and combines the numbers of objects in sets with ratio-limited precision. Interindividual variability in the acuity of the ANS correlates with mathematical achievement, but the causes of this correlation have never been established. We acquired psychophysical measures of ANS acuity in child and adult members of an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucú, who have a very restricted numerical lexicon and highly variable access to mathematics education. (...)
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  19. added 2017-02-12
    The Encoding of Spatial Information During Small-Set Enumeration.Harry Haladjian, Manish Singh, Zenon Pylyshyn & Randy Gallistel - 2010 - In S. Ohlsson & R. Catrambone (eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.
    Using a novel enumeration task, we examined the encoding of spatial information during subitizing. Observers were shown masked presentations of randomly-placed discs on a screen and were required to mark the perceived locations of these discs on a subsequent blank screen. This provided a measure of recall for object locations and an indirect measure of display numerosity. Observers were tested on three stimulus durations and eight numerosities. Enumeration performance was high for displays containing up to six discs—a higher subitizing range (...)
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  20. added 2017-02-12
    Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path Towards Understanding Exact Numbers.Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Elizabeth S. Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):491 – 505.
    Humans possess two nonverbal systems capable of representing numbers, both limited in their representational power: the first one represents numbers in an approximate fashion, and the second one conveys information about small numbers only. Conception of exact large numbers has therefore been thought to arise from the manipulation of exact numerical symbols. Here, we focus on two fundamental properties of the exact numbers as prerequisites to the concept of EXACT NUMBERS : the fact that all numbers can be generated by (...)
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  21. added 2017-02-11
    Non-Symbolic Halving in an Amazonian Indigene Group.Koleen McCrink, Elizabeth Spelke, Stanislas Dehaene & Pierre Pica - 2013 - Developmental Science 16 (3):451-462.
    Much research supports the existence of an Approximate Number System (ANS) that is recruited by infants, children, adults, and non-human animals to generate coarse, non-symbolic representations of number. This system supports simple arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, and ordering of amounts. The current study tests whether an intuition of a more complex calculation, division, exists in an indigene group in the Amazon, the Mundurucu, whose language includes no words for large numbers. Mundurucu children were presented with a video event (...)
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  22. added 2017-02-11
    The Mapping of Numbers on Space : Evidence for a Logarithmic Intuition.Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene - 2008 - Médecine/Science 24 (12):1014-1016.
    Des branches entières des mathématiques sont fondées sur des liens posés entre les nombres et l’espace : mesure de longueurs, définition de repères et de coordonnées, projection des nombres complexes sur le plan… Si les nombres complexes, comme l’utilisation de repères, sont apparus relativement récemment (vers le XVIIe siècle), la mesure des longueurs est en revanche un procédé très ancien, qui remonte au moins au 3e ou 4e millénaire av. J-C. Loin d’être fortuits, ces liens entre les nombres et l’espace (...)
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  23. added 2017-02-11
    Log or Linear? Distinct Intuitions of the Number Scale in Western and Amazonian Indigene Cultures.Pierre Pica, Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Véronique Izard - 2008 - Science 320 (5880):1217-1220.
    The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic numbers and logarithmic (...)
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  24. added 2017-02-11
    Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group.Pierre Pica, Cathy Lemer, Véronique Izard & Stanislas Dehaene - 2004 - Science 306 (5695):499-503.
    Is calculation possible without language? Or is the human ability for arithmetic dependent on the language faculty? To clarify the relation between language and arithmetic, we studied numerical cognition in speakers of Mundurukú, an Amazonian language with a very small lexicon of number words. Although the Mundurukú lack words for numbers beyond 5, they are able to compare and add large approximate numbers that are far beyond their naming range. However, they fail in exact arithmetic with numbers larger than 4 (...)
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  25. added 2016-11-16
    Numerical Architecture.Eric Mandelbaum - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (1):367-386.
    The idea that there is a “Number Sense” (Dehaene, 1997) or “Core Knowledge” of number ensconced in a modular processing system (Carey, 2009) has gained popularity as the study of numerical cognition has matured. However, these claims are generally made with little, if any, detailed examination of which modular properties are instantiated in numerical processing. In this article, I aim to rectify this situation by detailing the modular properties on display in numerical cognitive processing. In the process, I review literature (...)
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