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What constitutes our number concept? What makes it possible for us to employ numbers the way we do; which mental faculties contribute to our grasp of numbers? What do we share with other species, and what is specific to humans? How does our language faculty come into the picture? This 2003 book addresses these questions and discusses the relationship between numerical thinking and the human language faculty, providing psychological, linguistic and philosophical perspectives on number, its evolution and its development in children. Heike Wiese argues that language as a human faculty plays a crucial role in the emergence of systematic numerical thinking. She characterises number sequences as powerful and highly flexible mental tools that are unique to humans and shows that it is language that enables us to go beyond the perception of numerosity and to develop such mental tools.
Heike Weiss is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Institute for German Linguistics and Language, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin. She has published in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, philosophy, and didactics of mathematics.