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Is there a role of mathematics in the development of human consciousness?

Is there a role of mathematics in the development of human consciousness?

In addition to Hofstadter's wonderful writings, you might also be interested in work done on the relationships between mathematics and cognition (more generally than just consciousness). Take a look at these classics in that area:

Rochel Gelman & C.R. Gallistel, The Child's Understanding of Number (Harvard University Press, 1986)

George Lakoff & Rafael Nuñez, Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being (Basic Books, 2001)

Stanislaus Dehaene, The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2011)

interesting question. not sure I understand it exactly. but I can refer you to some fascinating work that touches on it -- mostly anything by Douglas Hofstadter, but you might start with Strange Loops and/or Godel Escher Bach ... both spectacular works that trace the essence of consciousness to self-referential recursive (mathematical) processes ... he'd be a good place to start. best, Andrew Pessin

Why is it so difficult to accurately discuss consciousness? People have been

Why is it so difficult to accurately discuss consciousness? People have been fumbling around with strange thought experiments and neologisms like "qualia" for a while now, yet there still doesn't seem to be any clear language to use while discussing the "hard problem of consciousness". The closest I can get is to frame the question using a computer analogy. A computer can compute, and then it can provide output to show a human user what it's computing. Our minds seem to be providing "output" that we might call consciousness or experience; why isn't it just computing in the dark? Yet even this analogy seems clumsy and inaccurate. So what makes consciousness so uniquely impossible to discuss in a clear fashion? I've never come across any other topic where language itself failed to grasp the subject of discussion.

That's why it's called the "hard problem".... :-)

And perhaps that's why some philosophers take an 'eliminationist' or materialist approach to the subject (eg Dan Dennett, Paul Churchland): the 'problem' itself is so ill-defined because there really is no such phenomena to be analyzed ... Words like "consciousness" are so vague and unclear that they cannot constitute a subject of scientific investigation, which will eventually dispense with them altogether ...

That's not very helpful, of course, but then there is no real answer to your question ....!

best, ap

That's why it's called the "hard problem".... :-) And perhaps that's why some philosophers take an 'eliminationist' or materialist approach to the subject (eg Dan Dennett, Paul Churchland): the 'problem' itself is so ill-defined because there really is no such phenomena to be analyzed ... Words like "consciousness" are so vague and unclear that they cannot constitute a subject of scientific investigation, which will eventually dispense with them altogether ... That's not very helpful, of course, but then there is no real answer to your question ....! best, ap