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Cognitive Models in Palaeolithic Archaeology$
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Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190204112

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190204112.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 01 December 2021

Materiality and Numerical Cognition

Materiality and Numerical Cognition

A Material Engagement Theory Perspective

(p.89) 5 Materiality and Numerical Cognition
Cognitive Models in Palaeolithic Archaeology

Karenleigh A. Overmann

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author applies Malafouris’s material engagement theory to counting technologies (bodies and artifacts) through three central ideas: the extended mind hypothesis suggests that numerical cognition includes material devices for counting in a way that goes beyond mere causal linkage. Counting technologies have different affordances that alter their material agency and varies numerical system outcomes. The enactive significance of material signs is compared to the communicative significance of linguistic signs to suggest that numerical system outcomes are shaped, at least in part, by the ways in which they differ. Insights from material engagement theory are then applied to representational counting technologies to suggest new ways of interpreting Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic artifacts.

Keywords:   extended mind, embodiment, agency, affordance, material sign, material semiosis

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