Publication 1356

Glasersfeld E. von (1981) An attentional model for the conceptual construction of units and number. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education 12(2): 83–94. Fulltext at
A theoretical model is proposed that explicates the generation of conceptual structures from unitary sensory objects to abstract constructs that satisfy the criteria generally stipulated for concepts of “number”: independence from sensory properties, unity of composites consisting of units, and potential numerosity. The model is based on the assumption that attention operates not as a steady state but as a pulselike phenomenon that can, but need not, be focused on sensory signals in the central nervous system. Such a view of attention is compatible with recent findings in the neurophysiology of perception and provides, in conjunction with Piaget’s postulate of empirical and reflective abstraction, a novel approach to the analysis of concepts that seem indispensable for the development of numerical operations.
German translation: Chapter 20 in Glasersfeld E. von (1987) Wissen, Sprache und Wirklichkeit, Italian translation: “Un modello attanzionale per la costruzione concettuale delle unità e del numero”, Methodologia 1(2): 5–20, Chapter 13 in Glasersfeld E. von (1987) The construction of knowledge: Contributions to conceptual semantics, Reprinted in: Steffe, Glasersfeld E. von, Richards & Cobb (eds.) Children’s counting types: Philosophy, theory, and application. Praeger, New York

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