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The perception of quantity ain't number: Missing the primacy of symbolic reference

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 December 2021

Rafael E. Núñez
Affiliation:
Department of Cognitive Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA92093-0515, USA. rnunez@ucsd.edu
Francesco d'Errico
Affiliation:
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Bordeaux, UMR 5199 De la Préhistoire à l'Actuel: Culture, Environnement et Anthropologie (PACEA), Bâtiment B2, Allée Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, CS 50023, 33615Pessac, France. francesco.derrico@u-bordeaux.fr
Russell D. Gray
Affiliation:
Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 04103Leipzig, Germany. gray@shh.mpg.de
Andrea Bender
Affiliation:
Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, N-5020Bergen, Norway. andrea.bender@uib.no

Abstract

Clarke and Beck's defense of the theoretical construct “approximate number system” (ANS) is flawed in serious ways – from biological misconceptions to mathematical naïveté. The authors misunderstand behavioral/psychological technical concepts, such as numerosity and quantical cognition, which they disdain as “exotic.” Additionally, their characterization of rational numbers is blind to the essential role of symbolic reference in the emergence of number.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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