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Writing the History of Mathematics: Interpretations of the Mathematics of the Past and Its Relation to the Mathematics of Today

Kapitel i bok
Författare Johanna Pejlare
Kajsa Bråting
Publicerad i Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences. Sriraman B. (red.)
Sidor 1-26
ISBN 978-3-319-57071-6
Förlag Springer
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för matematiska vetenskaper
Sidor 1-26
Språk en
Länkar https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-7...
https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/208023
Ämnesord History of mathematics, Epistemology of mathematics, Interpretations, History and heritage, Synchronic and diachronic perspectives, Recapitulation
Ämneskategorier Annan matematik, Vetenskapshistoria, Utbildningsvetenskap, Arkeologi, Idé- o lärdomshistoria

Sammanfattning

In the present chapter, interpretations of the mathematics of the past are problematized, based on examples such as archeological artifacts, as well as written sources from the ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek civilizations. The distinction between history and heritage is considered in relation to Euler’s function concept, Cauchy’s sum theorem, and the Unguru debate. Also, the distinction between the historical past and the practical past, as well as the distinction between the historical and the nonhistorical relations to the past, are made concrete based on Torricelli’s result on an infinitely long solid from the seventeenth century. Two complementary but different ways of analyzing the mathematics of the past are the synchronic and diachronic perspectives, which may be useful, for instance, regarding the history of school mathematics. Furthermore, recapitulation, or the belief that students’ conceptual development in mathematics is paralleled to the historical epistemology of mathematics, is problematized emphasizing the important role of culture.

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