Mathematics and cognition: Some objections to a cognitive foundation for mathematics

Francesca Boccuni The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication. J. Sķilters, F. Toccafondi et al. (Eds.), University of Latvia, pp. 115-136 - 2007


Baltic YearbookDehaene and Lakoff-Nunez have presented a theory that is intended not only as a possible explanation of how we apprehend mathematics, but also as a cognitive foundation for mathematics. In this paper, I will examine whether their notion of numerical cognition can indeed be considered as such a foundation. I will contend that, insofar as it has to face the very same issues as any foundational approach, the numerical cognition approach appears unsuccessful. Secondly, I’ll stress that the foundation numerical cognition provides rests on neuropsychological results that numerical cognition itself is not able to explain homogeneously, suggesting that even in neuropsychological terms the numerical cognition view is in trouble.

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