A Cardboard Pythagorean Teaching Aid

Teaching Philosophy 28 (2):155-161 (2005)
Abstract
A guiding thread in Western thought is that the world has a mathematical structure. This essay articulates this thread by making use of a cardboard teaching aid that illustrates the Pythagorean Theorem and uses this teaching aid as a starting point for discussion about a variety of philosophical and historical topics. To name just a few, the aid can be used to segue into a discussion of the Pythagorean association of shapes with numbers, the nature of deductive argumentation, the demonstration of part of the Theorem in the Meno, the possible origin of the Theorem in Egypt, the influence of Pythagoreans upon Plato, or even the relation of the Pythagorean Theorem to Fermat’s Last Theorem
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