David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 14 (1):55-68 (2000)
This paper argues that mathematics education curricular policy has slowly effected a reversal in the relationship between mathematics and its publics: from mathematics assuming its users to mathematics defined by its (supposed) users. Mathematics education research itself, its contribution to challenging the former notwithstanding, has often unwittingly supported this shift. While in the mid 1980s the mathematics educators propagating the teaching of mathematics by applications represented a small and unique group, by the mid 1990s those advocating teaching mathematics this way had grown appreciably. A characteristic of this change in conviction is the emphasis on the importance of the context of mathematical thinking and problem-solving. Paradoxically, the consequences of the coupling of mathematics, both with utilitarianism,as other have argued, and with essentialism,as we argue in this paper, have been to narrow its scope (e.g. to a narrow version of 'numeracy') and to distance mathematics from its publics. In the paper we argue that action is needed to counter these trends, and to develop the area of the public understanding of mathematics. Otherwise policies aiming simply to 'popularize' mathematics might exacerbate these consequences. In particular, research is necessary along the lines followed by the social studies of science. For such research-by posing as pertinent the question of describing and accounting for differences between practices of knowledge production, dissemination and use-can help to avoid the assumption of a unique essence of some unitary culture called 'mathematics' and therefore a public (or publics) separated from it
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jeff Evans & Anna Tsatsaroni (2000). Mathematics and its Publics: Texts, Contexts and Users. Social Epistemology 14 (1):55 – 68.
Christopher Pincock (2009). Towards a Philosophy of Applied Mathematics. In Otávio Bueno & Øystein Linnebo (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave Macmillan.
Charalampos Toumasis (1993). Ideas and Processes in Mathematics: A Course on History and Philosophy of Mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education 12 (2-4):245-256.
Edward N. Zalta (2007). Reflections on Mathematics. In V. F. Hendricks & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Philosophy of Mathematics: Five Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.
Sal Restivo & Wenda K. Bauchspies (2006). The Will to Mathematics: Minds, Morals, and Numbers. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 11 (1-2):197-215.
Mark Colyvan (2012). An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics. Cambridge University Press.
Alan Baker (2003). The Indispensability Argument and Multiple Foundations for Mathematics. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):49–67.
Charalampos Toumasis (1997). The NCTM Standards and the Philosophy of Mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education 16 (3):317-330.
Corfield David (1998). Beyond the Methodology of Mathematics Research Programmes. Philosophia Mathematica 6 (3):272-301.
Penelope J. Maddy (2001). Some Naturalistic Reflections on Set Theoretic Method. Topoi 20 (1):17-27.
Michael Heller (1997). Essential Tension: Mathematics - Physics - Philosophy. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 2 (1):39-52.
Javier Echeverría, Andoni Ibarra & Thomas Mormann (eds.) (1992). The Space of Mathematics: Philosophical, Epistemological, and Historical Explorations. W. De Gruyter.
Carlo Cellucci (2013). Philosophy of Mathematics: Making a Fresh Start. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):32-42.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2010-09-02
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?