Part of Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Part of Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Where does geometric cognition come from?


Our paper, written together by Mateusz Hohol and Marcin Miłkowski entitled Cognitive artifacts for geometric reasoning was published in Foundations of Science. In our joint paper, we claim that explanations of geometric cognition should go beyond methodological individualism and take into account the role of distributed cognitive factors in the shaping of Euclidean geometry. In other words, we argue that abstract geometry that raised in ancient Greece cannot be satisfactorily explained only as a product of individual minds, or skull-bound cognitive processes. Instead, we propose that cognitive artifacts, i.e., diagrams and well-structured language, scaffolded visuospatial capacities of our brains, and contributed to building a unique cognitive niche within Euclidean geometry, originated as a result of collective thinking and problem-solving. In addition to this, we emphasize that in contrast to mental mechanisms of symbolic logical inference, mechanisms of diagrammatic inference are still weakly understood in cognitive science...

Cite as:
Hohol, M. (2019). Where does geometric cognition come from? Cognitive Science in Search of Unity Blog.
Mathematical Cognition and Learning Lab
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