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Do Real Numbers Really Move? Language, Thought, and Gesture: The Embodied Cognitive Foundations of Mathematics

  • Rafael Núñez

Abstract

Robotics, artificial intelligence and, in general, any activity involving computer simulation and engineering relies, in a fundamental way, on mathematics. These fields constitute excellent examples of how mathematics can be applied to some area of investigation with enormous success. This, of course, includes embodied oriented approaches in these fields, such as Embodied Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Robotics. In this chapter, while fully endorsing an embodied oriented approach to cognition, I will address the question of the nature of mathematics itself, that is, mathematics not as an application to some area of investigation, but as a human conceptual system with a precise inferential organization that can be investigated in detail in cognitive science. The main goal of this piece is to show, using techniques in cognitive science such as cognitive semantics and gestures studies, that concepts and human abstraction in general (as it is exemplified in a sublime form by mathematics) is ultimately embodied in nature.

Keywords

Cognitive Science Mathematical Idea Linguistic Expression Conceptual Metaphor Cartesian Plane 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Núñez

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