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The prehistory of number concept

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2011

Karenleigh A. Overmann
Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.
Thomas Wynn
Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.
Frederick L. Coolidge
Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.


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.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011

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