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Matematik och bildning: berättelse, gräns, tystnad
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Skills and Technology.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)Alternative title
Mathematics and Liberal Education : narrative, limit, tacitness (English)
Abstract [en]

Mathemathics and Liberal Education – narrative, limit, tacitness is a study of mathematics as a special human endeavour to grasp and understand the world. Mathematics is seen as a cultural activity related to other cultural phenomena as music, art and literature, but also as a very efficient modelling tool for science, economy and social organisation.

The concept of Bildung includes many aspects, but one of the most significant is to handle the double perspective of including both connections and limitations between different kinds of human understanding, in this case with mathematics in focus.

To explore this double perspective the study has its focus mainly on the mathematical language. A language has a special territory of objects, structures and relations possible to name and handle. Therefore it will also define a certain kind of tacitness, an area not expressible in that very language. A typical example is the notation of a chess game. The mathematical language with its very specified vocabulary certainly also has a somewhat similar kind of tacitness.

The research question is to identify and discuss aspects of human activities, which reasonably should be called “mathematical”, that the mathematics language could not articulate. The purpose is to show the necessity of a manifoldness of understanding, also in mathematical activities.

Focus is on pure mathematics and mathematical modelling as two kinds of successful mathematical narratives with great scientific and societal impact. The study is on a meta-mathematical level with origin and base in the Department of Skill and Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology, and the empirical material is gathered mostly at three Dialogue Seminars at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm. The approach is broad, including humanistic, philosophical and artistic perspectives. Skilled representatives from other fields than mathematics have in many cases contributed, in rich analogical and metaphorical dialogues, to qualify the research question.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 298 p.
Trita-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2006:12
Keyword [en]
mathematics, liberal education, notation, tacitness, understanding, narrative, modelling, metaphor, Bildung
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4010ISBN: 91-7178-367-9OAI: diva2:10379
Public defence
2006-06-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
QC 20100913Available from: 2006-05-31 Created: 2006-05-31 Last updated: 2012-01-30Bibliographically approved

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