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A Defense of an Amodal Number System

Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires C1425FQB, Argentina
Philosophies 2018, 3(2), 13;
Received: 8 February 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Philosophy of Cognitive Science: Selected Papers from WPCS 2017)
It has been argued that the approximate number system (ANS) constitutes a problem for the grounded approach to cognition because it implies that some conceptual tasks are performed by non-perceptual systems. The ANS is considered non-perceptual mainly because it processes stimuli from different modalities. Jones (2015) has recently argued that this system has many features (such as being modular) which are characteristic of sensory systems. Additionally, he affirms that traditional sensory systems also process inputs from different modalities. This suggests that the ANS is a perceptual system and therefore it is not problematic for the grounded view. In this paper, I defend the amodal approach to the ANS against these two arguments. In the first place, perceptual systems do not possess the properties attributed to the ANS and therefore these properties do not imply that the ANS is perceptual. In the second place, I will propose that a sensory system only needs to be dedicated to process modality-specific information, which is consistent with responding to inputs from different modalities. I argue that the cross-modal responses exhibited by traditional sensory systems are consistent with modality-specific information whereas some responses exhibited by the ANS are not. View Full-Text
Keywords: perceptual system; grounded cognition; concept empiricism; number representation perceptual system; grounded cognition; concept empiricism; number representation
MDPI and ACS Style

Wajnerman Paz, A. A Defense of an Amodal Number System. Philosophies 2018, 3, 13.

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