Where mathematics comes from : How the embodied mind brings mathematics into being
Basic Books, 2000
Summary (Book List Review):
With this ambitious book, Lakoff and Nunez hope to launch a whole new discipline: a cognitive science of mathematics. And they bid fair to bring it off, showing how all mathematical ideas–from simple counting to calculus–can be traced to the discrete workings of the human brain, and not to some transcendent realm of Platonic ideals. This approach to mathematics holds a number of surprises, as even ordinary arithmetic dissolves into conceptual metaphors grounded in the sensory-motor system. The entire panoply of mathematical symbols and calculations–precise and consistent–thus reflects the evolutionary history of brain neurons.
I was hopeful because the cover of the book was kind of intriguing and not mathy looking. Yall I opened this book, saw, charts, graphs and angles and had had enough. I read enough to know that the authors purport that babies–2 to 3 days old–can discriminate between groups with less objects or more objects. They discuss the studies that support this claim, how they were done etc. Don’t know if I buy it. Math never felt innate to me. Rather its always felt more alien, cold and distant like that Tilda Swinton chick. What is her deal anyway?