The Epistemological Dynamics of Early Writing: Spatiality and Perception

Jochen Brüning, Hagan Brunch, Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum, Justin Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With our point of departure in the concept of cultural technology/technologies, the work of our research group strives first to gain an understanding of the conditions under which the description and representation of spatiality are possible within particular modalities of communication (geometric, algebraic, verbalized, as well as in drawings, models, and ›diagrams‹), and secondly, to analyze the role of the recording medium (in this case textuality) in these processes. Bearing in mind the focus of Research Group D-III the problematic of research group D-III (»Spatial Models and Spatial Thinking«) and that of Area D (»Theory and Science«) in the broadest terms, we seek on the basis of concrete case studies to describe the earliest instances of textuality, both the interdependence of materiality and object-form as well as the influence of textuality on the shaping and development of analytical thinking and the systematic acquisition of knowledge. The material focus is on documenting the cuneiform cultures of the Ancient Near East.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • early writing
  • cuneiform script
  • mathematics
  • number
  • geometry
  • Pi
  • metapragmatics
  • diagram
  • Kulturtechnik(en)
  • Mesopotamia


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