Numbers and Arithmetic: Neither Hardwired Nor Out There

@article{Nez2009NumbersAA,
  title={Numbers and Arithmetic: Neither Hardwired Nor Out There},
  author={Rafael E. N{\'u}{\~n}ez},
  journal={Biological Theory},
  year={2009},
  volume={4},
  pages={68-83}
}
  • R. Núñez
  • Published 1 March 2009
  • Philosophy
  • Biological Theory
What is the nature of number systems and arithmetic that we use in science for quantification, analysis, and modeling? I argue that number concepts and arithmetic are neither hardwired in the brain, nor do they exist out there in the universe. Innate subitizing and early cognitive preconditions for number— which we share with many other species—cannot provide the foundations for the precision, richness, and range of number concepts and simple arithmetic, let alone that of more complex… 

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