CARTA: Comparative Anthropogeny: From Molecules to Societies - Quantity and Number - Rafael Nuñez

11/1/2021; 17 minutes

Humans and many other species have biologically endowed abilities for discriminating "quantities" to some degree (e.g., subitizing), but only humans, via the distinct capacity of "symbolic reference" exhibit "number" — i.e., exact symbolic quantification. Language, with its symbolic properties although present in all human cultures, is a necessary condition for "number" but it is not a sufficient condition for it. UC San Diego professor Rafael Nuñez discusses the comparative analysis of "quantity" and "number", and the implications it has for debates about the origins of other human special capacities such as geometry, music, and art. (#37386)

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