¿"Natural" y "Euclidiana"? Reflexiones sobre la geometría práctica y sus raíces cognitivas

José Ferreirós, Manuel Jesús García-Pérez


We discuss critically some recent theses about geometric cognition, namely claims of universality made by Dehaene et al., and the idea of a "natural geometry" employed by Spelke et al. We offer arguments for the need to distinguish visuo-spatial cognition from basic geometric knowledge, furthermore we claim that the latter cannot be identified with Euclidean geometry. The main aim of the paper is to advance toward a characterization of basic, practical geometry – which in our view requires a combination of experiments on visuo-spatial cognition with studies in cognitive archaeology and comparative history. Examples from these fields are given, with special emphasis on the comparison of ancient Chinese and ancient Greek geometric ideas and procedures.


Cognitive archaeology; geometric cognition; core cognition; chinese geometry; cognitive tools; comparative history.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.17839