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The Kissing Triangles: The Aesthetics of Mathematical Discovery

The Kissing Triangles: The Aesthetics of Mathematical Discovery Papert's (1978) appeal to reconsider the power and possibilities of the aesthetic in mathematics learning is often ignored in mathematics education research. This paper begins with the premise, put forth by Dewey (1934), that the aesthetic structures many dimensions of inquiry and experience. In the same way that using particular paintings, musical compositions, or even everyday experiences has been instrumental to attempts by philosophers to understand the aesthetic dimensions of meaning and experience in artistic domains, I propose that analysing a particular encounter with mathematics may help reveal the nature and role of the often nebulous responses of elegance, beauty, and `fit' to which mathematicians lay claim in their mathematical activity. To achieve this, I draw on and adapt the defining features of the aesthetic character of experience set forth by the aesthetician Beardsley (1982). This, in turn, sheds light on the role thataesthetics can play in mathematical inquiry and experience, and provides initial categories and conjectures that can be used to investigate the potential roles of aesthetics in mathematics learning contexts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png "Technology, Knowledge and Learning" Springer Journals

The Kissing Triangles: The Aesthetics of Mathematical Discovery

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Education; Learning and Instruction; Mathematics Education; Educational Technology; Science Education; Creativity and Arts Education
ISSN
2211-1662
eISSN
1573-1766
DOI
10.1023/A:1016021912539
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Papert's (1978) appeal to reconsider the power and possibilities of the aesthetic in mathematics learning is often ignored in mathematics education research. This paper begins with the premise, put forth by Dewey (1934), that the aesthetic structures many dimensions of inquiry and experience. In the same way that using particular paintings, musical compositions, or even everyday experiences has been instrumental to attempts by philosophers to understand the aesthetic dimensions of meaning and experience in artistic domains, I propose that analysing a particular encounter with mathematics may help reveal the nature and role of the often nebulous responses of elegance, beauty, and `fit' to which mathematicians lay claim in their mathematical activity. To achieve this, I draw on and adapt the defining features of the aesthetic character of experience set forth by the aesthetician Beardsley (1982). This, in turn, sheds light on the role thataesthetics can play in mathematical inquiry and experience, and provides initial categories and conjectures that can be used to investigate the potential roles of aesthetics in mathematics learning contexts.

Journal

"Technology, Knowledge and Learning"Springer Journals

Published: Oct 12, 2004

References