The will to mathematics: Minds, morals, and numbers [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 11 (1-2):197-215 (2004)

Abstract

The 1990s could be called The Decade of Sociology in mathematics education. It was during those years that the sociology of mathematics became a core ingredient of discourse in mathematics education and the philosophy of mathematics and mathematics education. Unresolved questions and uncertainties have emerged out of this discourse that hinge on the key concept of social construction. More generally, what is at issue is the very idea of “the social”. Within the framework of the general problem of “the social”, we want to open a discussion of boundaries and margins in mathematics and mathematics education. By theorizing the divisions of purity and danger, we will be able to better understand the intersection of logic, mathematics, and thinking with gender, race, and class, and morals, ethics, and values in the classroom. The process of transforming the sociology of mathematics and the sociology of mind into pedagogical tools for mathematics educators and philosophers of education has already begun. One of the tasks before us is the development of a more profound and at the same time more practical grasp of “the social”. Our objective in this paper is to move ourselves and our readers in the direction of just such a grasp of the social.

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