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Numerals and Neural Reuse

Jones, Max (2018) Numerals and Neural Reuse. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Menary (2015) has argued that the development of our capacities for mathematical cognition can be explained in terms of enculturation. Our ancient systems for perceptually estimating numerical quantities are augmented and transformed by interacting with a culturally-enriched environment that provides scaffolds for the acquisition of cognitive practices, leading to the development of a discrete number system for representing number precisely. Numerals and the practices associated with numeral systems play a significant role in this process. However, the details of the relationship between the ancient number system and the discrete number system remain unclear. This lack of clarity is exacerbated by the problem of symbolic estrangement and the fact that unique features of how numeral systems represent require our ancient number system to play a dual role. These issues highlight that Dehaene's (2005) neuronal recycling hypothesis may be insufficient to explain the neural mechanisms underlying the process of enculturation. In order to explain mathematical enculturation, and enculturation more generally, it may be necessary to adopt Anderson's (2010, 2014) theory of neural reuse.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Jones, Maxmaxdljones@gmail.com0000-0003-0874-7320
Keywords: Mathematical Cognition; Numerical cognition; enculturation; neuronal recycling; neural reuse; cognitive integration; Affordances; philosophy of psychology; philosophy of neuroscience
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Max Jones
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2018 16:54
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 16:54
Item ID: 14985
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-018-01922-y
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14985

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