[xmca] Re: Math Question

From: Cathrene Connery (ConneryC@cwu.edu)
Date: Wed Jan 03 2007 - 15:33:48 PST

Hi Ed and everyone,
Thanks for the note. I put together a web site for Vera John-Steiner a
few years back that includes some of her more difficult to find
articles. You can access it at www.unm.edu/~vygotsky. If you scroll
down the list of publications on her vitae, those that are listed in
blue can be directly accessed and printed off. You would especially be
interested in her work on Cognitive Pluralism where she writes about the
difference in thought processes between various types of mathematicians.
 (There is an interesting article posted on Hungarian mathematicians as
well.) Vera is also just finishing a book with Reuben Hersh called
Loving and Hating Mathematics.

Along those lines, if your comment about technology is an offer to
balance my checkbook monthly, I accept.
Best wishes,

M. Cathrene Connery, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Bilingual & TESL Education
Central Washington University

>>> Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> 1/3/2007 1:41 PM >>>

    By the way, thanks for the John-Steiner references. I just took a
look at some reviews. The one thing that concerns me is that, for
example, Explorations of Thinking seems to focus on the exceptional
where I am interested, I think, in something a bit more prosaic.
However, it does seem like a possible place to start. In any case,
keeping a checkbook is not necessarily a minor mathematical matter
although technology has considerably simplified things.


> This may be what I am talking about (I say this with some
>sureness since I'm not sure what I'm talking about). Ramanujan
>refers to the goddess Namakkal in possibly a like manner. Yes, I
>know Hersh's writing. About the most relevant and least readable in
>this regard is the thesis of Eric Livingston "An Ethnomathematical
>Investigation of the Foundations of Mathematics." He makes the
>argument that for a mathematician it must always (my
>interpretation), in a sense, be this way. [Hmm, not I think merging
>as much as reinforcing, but, perhaps, that is a form of merging]
>However, I think he would be uncomfortable with psychological and
>prefer sociological.
>>Hi Ed and everyone,
>>What an interesting question. It is true that so many writers and
>>artists as well have stated that they felt the ideas they mediate
>>cross a line in the creative process where mind and activity and
>>object seems to blurr and the work seems to create itself so to
>>speak. Michelangelo wrote that his sculptures spoke to him as he
>>carved the marble. Sometimes when I am painting, the same
>>phenomenon occurs. From a Vygotskian perspective, this experience
>>has interesting appeal when considering the inner voice. Vera
>>John-Steiner's Notebooks of the Mind and Creative Collaborations
>>document this psychological activity.
>>To apply it to mathematics is a fascinating question. Being
>>someone who can barely balance a checkbook, I am not sure how it
>>would apply.......however, I suspect different domains in
>>mathematics would reflect variations of this experience as they
>>each depend or are derived from various forms of cognitive
>>pluralism. have you looked at Reuben Hersh's work?
>>M. Cathrene Connery, Ph.D.
>>Assistant Professor of Bilingual & TESL Education
>>Central Washington University
>> >>> Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu> 01/02/07 5:06 PM >>>
>>Mike and all
>> This is not quite on the topic (and, thus, I have held back a
>>bit), but given the amount of expertise that people are bringin I
>>a question I have asked elsewhere (I apologize for how it is
>>but something like this was appropriate in that particular
>> > I had a question and wonder if you might point me in a
>> >direction(s). The situation is such: It has been argued of late
>> >the work mathematicians do - proof and the such - proceeds within
>> >mathematics being created. That is, without going into a lot of
>> >detail, the mathematics one does is both circumscribed and
>> >by the mathematics one is doing. This is not exactly a matter of
>> >prior knowledge or the hermeneutic circle per se although it
>> >have something to do with being an 'expert.'
>> > The reason why I am asking is that, the other day in a
>> >philosophic discussion around a novel, a participant noted that
>> >authors describe the authoring process as open-ended in the sense
>> >that what finally takes place may differ from what was originally
>> >intended. That is, in a certain sense, the writing writes itself.
>> >this sounded somewhat parallel to the phenomenon I mentioned in
>> >mathematics, I was wondering if you knew of someone(s) who makes
>> >remarks about a similar phenomenon re writing.
>>Ed Wall
>> >Hi David--
>> >
>> >There is a LOT of material on the topic of writing systems.
>> >Two interesting places to start are:
>> >
>> >D. Schmandt-Besserat, Before Writing:. U of Texas Press. 1992 (two
>> >
>> >R. Harris. The origin of writing. Open Court. 1986.
>> >
>> >David Olson has written extensively on this topic, primarily from
>> >sources.
>> >
>> >I am unsure of best sources that delve into origins of writing in
>> >which were more or less co-incident with
>> >events in Euphrates area.
>> >mike
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