[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

*To*: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>*Subject*: Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus*From*: Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu>*Date*: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 18:18:26 -0400*Delivered-to*: xmca@weber.ucsd.edu*Domainkey-signature*: a=rsa-sha1; s=2007001; d=ucsd.edu; c=simple; q=dns; b=JgHXDeJL6384SH1P+SrIm4UxefmmAlCFjoz48k2xTFVFIZ8AQ9Rp4Qit0CRJqjz0Q cwED3r0OI0HNELYAQC16w==*In-reply-to*: <00a101c9c90b$55341670$ff9c4350$@edu>*List-archive*: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/xmca>*List-help*: <mailto:xmca-request@weber.ucsd.edu?subject=help>*List-id*: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca.weber.ucsd.edu>*List-post*: <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>*List-subscribe*: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:xmca-request@weber.ucsd.edu?subject=subscribe>*List-unsubscribe*: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:xmca-request@weber.ucsd.edu?subject=unsubscribe>*References*: <30364f990904271547o5b4df21eifca69bf8318483f2@mail.gmail.com> <2C46D7A7-AD94-441C-AABD-269045835E3D@umich.edu> <0193A85F-03A7-4811-B912-217722A5770B@uvic.ca> <BDD722EC-3E52-48C1-829B-AD5053D51B78@umich.edu> <2B2B3D4D-462E-4654-8457-A1C4F21B2874@uvic.ca> <49F7DE9B.5050908@mira.net> <14a6419f0904290031g79f0f6aagaaaf6e9a906005b2@mail.gmail.com> <49F8060B.6070401@mira.net> <14a6419f0904290117q6c0e8432xf78fe6d1b3e9012b@mail.gmail.com> <14a6419f0904290922h34790b99o3d43d176dba1ce9d@mail.gmail.com> <00a101c9c90b$55341670$ff9c4350$@edu>*Reply-to*: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>*Sender*: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu

Actually, I was wondering just the opposite of

The issue for me is why the Western civilization prioritizes (and then mathematizes) social relations described in the Arabic wisdom.

Ed Wall On Apr 29, 2009, at 4:44 PM, Eugene Matusov wrote:

Dear everybody--In response to Mike's profound inquiry of why a minus times a minusis aplus, I was thinking that it is a mathematical model of the Arabicwisdomthat "an enemy of my enemy is my friend." Of course, the latter is notalways true -- we have plenty of examples when enemy of our enemy isstillour enemy (or just indifferent) and, thus, for these types of socialrelations, the mathematical model of (-1) x (-1) =1 does not work.Justconsider, for an example, the relations among the US, Al-Qaida, andSaddamHussein. The issue for me is why the Western civilization prioritizes (and thenmathematizes) social relations described in the Arabic wisdom. Oneanswer isbecause "the real world" works according to these social relations(i.e.,the social relations is just an example of the truth out there). Analternative explanation is that the Western civilization can affordandmight be even benefit from imposing these social relations on "therealworld" that by itself is indifferent to any social relations (and thus mathematical models). Any other explanations? What do you think? Eugene-----Original Message-----From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]On Behalf Of Ng Foo Keong Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 12:23 PM To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity Subject: Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus Is Mathematics _merely_ socially constructed, or is there something deeper and inevitable?I think this deserves a new thread, but I couldn't manage to startone.Let me try to draw out and assemble the line of discussion that spun off from the "a minus times a plus" thread. In her inaugural post to xcma, Anna Sfard about talked "rules of the mathematical game" among other things. Then Jay Lemke said:-... I think it's important, however, to see, as Anna emphasizes, that there is a certain "arbitrariness" involved in this, or if you like it better: a freedom of choice. Yes, it's structure-and-agency all over again! Structure determines that some things fit into bigger pictures and some don't, but agency is always at work deciding which pictures, which kind of fit, which structures, etc. And behind that values, and culture, and how we feel about things.----- Then I (Ng Foo Keong) said:-regarding structure and agency, arbitrariness:- i think now it's time for me to pop this question that has been bugging me for some time. i am convinced that mathematics is socially constructured, but i am not so convinced that mathematics is _merely_ socially constructured. if we vary across cultures and different human activities, we might find different ways in which patterns and structure can be expressed and yet we might find commonalities / analogies. the question i am asking is: is maths just a ball game determined by some group of nerds who happen to be in power and dominate the discourse, or is there some invariant, something deeper in maths that can transcend and unite language, culture, activity .... ?Foo Keong, NIE, Singapore ----- Then Ed Wall said:-Ng Foo Keong As regards your question about mathematics being socially constructed, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by mathematics or what kind of evidence would convince you it wasn't. Suppose I said that there was evidence for innate subtizing._______________________________________________ xmca mailing list xmca@weber.ucsd.edu http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca __________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 4043 (20090429) __________ The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus. http://www.eset.com__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virussignaturedatabase 4043 (20090429) __________ The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus. http://www.eset.com _______________________________________________ xmca mailing list xmca@weber.ucsd.edu http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

_______________________________________________ xmca mailing list xmca@weber.ucsd.edu http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca

**Follow-Ups**:**[xmca] In what sense(s) is mathematics a social construction.?***From:*Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>

**References**:**[xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Ed Wall <ewall@umich.edu>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth@uvic.ca>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Ng Foo Keong <lefouque@gmail.com>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Ng Foo Keong <lefouque@gmail.com>

**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*Ng Foo Keong <lefouque@gmail.com>

**RE: [xmca] a minus times a plus***From:*"Eugene Matusov" <ematusov@UDel.Edu>

- Prev by Date:
**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus** - Next by Date:
**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus** - Previous by thread:
**Re: [xmca] a minus times a plus** - Next by thread:
**[xmca] In what sense(s) is mathematics a social construction.?** - Index(es):