SFC comenzará el 2014 con una sesión a cargo de Mario Santos-Sousa (UCL), que nos hablará sobre filosofía de las matemáticas, en particular sobre el aprendizaje de números. Este es el abstract de la charla, titulada “Bootstrapping Rebooted”:
How do children learn the cardinal numbers? One influential response—or rather family of responses—is that children initially learn the meaning of the first few number words and then infer (or ‘bootstrap’) the meaning of the rest as they learn to count, thereby building an association between ‘counting on’ (i.e. moving upwards in the number word sequence, word by word) and ‘adding one’ to an arbitrary collection of items. This general approach has come under attack in a series of papers by Rips, Asmuth and Bloomfield (2006; 2008) on the basis that bootstrapping does not guarantee that children will assign the right (standard) interpretation to the word sequence as opposed to some non-standard (e.g., cyclical) interpretation. According to Rips et. al., the sort of inference that children are required to draw needs to be appropriately constrained (by some innate principles) in order to succeed—but once these constraints are in place, they argue, the inference in question becomes entirely redundant. So much for bootstrapping then.
My aim, nonetheless, is to vindicate bootstrapping against Rips et. al’s criticism by showing that the range of interpretations available to children when they learn the sequence of (cardinal) number words is heavily constrained by the context in which these number words are deployed. It is thanks to being embedded in the practice of counting that the number word sequence acquires a determinate meaning, which is immune to alternative interpretations of the sort Rips et. al. envisage.
El seminario tendrá lugar el jueves 9 de enero a las 12.00, en la sala 06 de Filosofía de la Facultad de Humanidades de la UNED (Paseo de Senda del Rey 7).
Estaremos encantados de veros allí.