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Material encounters and media events: what kind of mathematics can a body do?

de Freitas, E (2016) Material encounters and media events: what kind of mathematics can a body do? Educational Studies in Mathematics, 91 (2). pp. 185-202. ISSN 0013-1954

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Abstract

© 2015, The Author(s).This paper contributes to research on the material dimensions of teaching and learning mathematics, arguing that perception is not sensory integration or synthesis of multi-modal information, but rather a speculative investment in specific material encounters. This approach entails sociopolitical consequences for how we work with dis/ability in mathematics classrooms because it foregrounds how the relationship between sense (as meaning) and sense (as sensation) can be fundamentally altered. I focus on how visual perception in mathematics can be reconceived in these terms, drawing principally on the philosophical insights of Michel Serres and Brian Massumi. This paper shows how philosophical work on perception can shed light on embodied mathematics, opening up discussion about the potentiality of the human body.

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