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Quanto è naturale la capacità di contare? [EN]

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A cura di @GiMa

Da dove viene la nostra capacità di contare? È davvero come sostengono alcuni una qualità innata, dettata dalla biologia e dall’evoluzione? Philip Ball tenta di dare una risposta su Aeon in un lungo articolo sul tema.

Why can we count to 152? OK, most of us don’t need to stop there, but that’s my point. Counting to 152, and far beyond, comes to us so naturally that it’s hard not to regard our ability to navigate indefinitely up the number line as something innate, hard-wired into us.

Scientists have long claimed that our ability with numbers is indeed biologically evolved – that we can count because counting was a useful thing for our brains to be able to do. The hunter-gatherer who could tell which herd or flock of prey was the biggest, or which tree held the most fruit, had a survival advantage over the one who couldn’t. What’s more, other animals show a rudimentary capacity to distinguish differing small quantities of things: two bananas from three, say. Surely it stands to reason, then, that numeracy is adaptive.

Immagine da Flickr.


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