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Re: conflict in views of mathematics
Posted:
Nov 13, 1996 12:48 AM


On Mon, 11 Nov 1996, Richard W. Wilson wrote:
> Math could be, and I believe is, both independent of and inherently a part > of human experience. I'm not sure we want to get off into this very > theoretical/philosophical debate when we have been primarily dealing with > more directly mathematical issues recently.
Hear, hear! This all began, however, with a genuine pedagogical question, of how  or why!  or whether!  to present to children the notion that mathematical questions can have various answers, according to circumstances or purposes of the moment. For this problem we needed a definition of "mathematical question" and "various answers." I believe I've said about as much as I know about these things, and maybe more. In summary of my own view, I consider it mischievous to put forward any such notion, even while understanding that every *practical* problem in the world is subject to doubtful answers.
Ralph A. Raimi Tel. 716 275 4429, or (home) 716 244 9368 University of Rochester Fax 716 244 6631 Rochester, NY 14627 Homepage: http://www.math.rochester.edu/u/rarm



