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The Mathematical Event: Mapping the Axiomatic and the Problematic in School Mathematics

de Freitas, E (2013) The Mathematical Event: Mapping the Axiomatic and the Problematic in School Mathematics. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 32 (6). pp. 581-599. ISSN 0039-3746

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Abstract

Traditional philosophy of mathematics has been concerned with the nature of mathematical objects rather than events. This traditional focus on reified objects is reflected in dominant theories of learning mathematics whereby the learner is meant to acquire familiarity with ideal mathematical objects, such as number, polygon, or tangent. I argue that the concept of event-rather than object-better captures the vitality of mathematics, and offers new ways of thinking about mathematics education. In this paper I draw on two different but related theories of event articulated in the philosophies of Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze to argue that the central activity of 'problem solving' in mathematics education should be recast in terms of a problematic of events. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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