Bootstrapping of integer concepts: the stronger deviant-interpretation challenge

Synthese 199 (3-4):5791-5814 (2021)
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Beck presents an outline of the procedure of bootstrapping of integer concepts, with the purpose of explicating the account of Carey. According to that theory, integer concepts are acquired through a process of inductive and analogous reasoning based on the object tracking system, which allows individuating objects in a parallel fashion. Discussing the bootstrapping theory, Beck dismisses what he calls the "deviant-interpretation challenge"—the possibility that the bootstrapped integer sequence does not follow a linear progression after some point—as being general to any account of inductive learning. While the account of Carey and Beck focuses on the OTS, in this paper I want to reconsider the importance of another empirically well-established cognitive core system for treating numerosities, namely the approximate number system. Since the ANS-based account offers a potential alternative for integer concept acquisition, I show that it provides a good reason to revisit the deviant-interpretation challenge. Finally, I will present a hybrid OTS-ANS model as the foundation of integer concept acquisition and the framework of enculturation as a solution to the challenge.

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Author's Profile

Markus Pantsar
Aachen University of Technology

References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
The origin of concepts.Susan Carey - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong.Jerry A. Fodor - 1998 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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