Animal Cognition, Species Invariantism, and Mathematical Realism

In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 39-61 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
What can we infer from numerical cognition about mathematical realism? In this paper, I will consider one aspect of numerical cognition that has received little attention in the literature: the remarkable similarities of numerical cognitive capacities across many animal species. This Invariantism in Numerical Cognition (INC) indicates that mathematics and morality are disanalogous in an important respect: proto-moral beliefs differ substantially between animal species, whereas proto-mathematical beliefs (at least in the animals studied) seem to show more similarities. This makes moral beliefs more susceptible to a contingency challenge from evolution compared to mathematical beliefs, and indicates that mathematical beliefs might be less vulnerable to evolutionary debunking arguments. I will then examine to what extent INC can be used to flesh out a positive case for mathematical realism. Finally, I will review two forms of mathematical realism that are promising in the light of the evolutionary evidence about numerical cognition, ante rem structuralism and Millean empiricism.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DECACS
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-04-06
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Core Systems of Number.Dehaene, Stanislas; Spelke, Elizabeth & Feigenson, Lisa

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-03-29

Total views
58 ( #31,486 of 41,488 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
58 ( #10,011 of 41,488 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.