> Yes, I agree, Lou. I have been uncomfortable with > that chess analogy (and he is the one using it). > However, maybe Kirby, who is more conversant with > Wittgenstein than I am, can comment on this, as I > believe Ludwig liked to make analogies grounded in > chess as well. Perhaps that was even Keith Devlin's > inspiration. >
So I'm attempting to butt in as a world authority on Wittgenstein (OK, so I'm a fan, let's leave it at that), to say "what analogy?" i.e. we could easily take chess as an end in itself, like Herman Hesse's 'Glass Bead Game' but not so exclusive and inward-turned. So then the only question is whether chess is "mathematical" enough to be considered "mathematics" to which I say yes, but then who asked me?
This idea that symbolic manipulation is about "problem solving" in some analogous domain is what gets trucked out by the pure mathematicians when they want to remind us that their purist language games are "applicable", whereas among peers no one cares about that. Math games are fun "in themselves" and we should teach that in the high schools if we wanna explain about motivation (given a lot of 'em play chess, that shouldn't be too hard).
Hey, on another topic, sort of, I had this olive branch for Haim that didn't make it through, so at least let me give a link to where the "education mafia" rears its ugly head, in my own political lobbying (which is gaining in strength & momentum, thanks to out-of-state help, but not discounting indigenous talent, which is considerable).
PS: thanks to Anna Roys for bringing the thread to my attention. As I don't subscribe through email, it's easy for me to miss stuff like this, not that that's critical.
> I am also not so sure that if the chess analogy DOES > hold up better than I think, that there isn't a way > to turn it on its head if it turns out, as I suspect > is the case, that some people teach or learn chess in > ways that differ from the, "Okay, these are the names > of the pieces, and here's how they move, but don't > worry about much else" perspective. Naturally, > analogies are never perfect, nor need they be. But in > this case, the more I read of Davydov's work and > other folks trying to build a neo-Vygotskian approach > to teaching elementary mathematics, the more I > suspect there are some fundamental considerations > from that work that should be brought to bear on how > we teach a lot of things to kids. It seems a little > ironic, in that regard, that we have the column under > discussion from Devlin and also the ones about > Davydov's work more recently from him, and there may > just be a bit of a contradiction. > > Or maybe it's just our source here for these Devlin > columns, who has rarely met an idea he can't > misunderstand to his own purposes. It turns out that > everything ever written agrees with him, and if not, > can be tormented into agreeing. > > Quoting Louis Talman <email@example.com>: >