Journal Article

What Perception Is Doing, and What it Is Not Doing, in Mathematical Reasoning

Dennis Lomas

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 53, issue 2, pages 205-223
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/53.2.205
What Perception Is Doing, and What it Is Not Doing, in Mathematical Reasoning

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What is perception doing in mathematical reasoning? To address this question, I discuss the role of perception in geometric reasoning. Perception of the shape properties of concrete diagrams provides, I argue, a surrogate consciousness of the shape properties of the abstract geometric objects depicted in the diagrams. Some of what perception is not doing in mathematical reasoning is also discussed. I take issue with both Parsons and Maddy. Parsons claims that we perceive a certain type of abstract object. Maddy claims (at least at one time claimed) that perception provides the basis for intuition of mathematical sets.

1 Mathematical reasoning with diagrams

2 Do we perceive abstract objects?

3 Do we perceive mathematical sets?

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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