The Mind of Arithmetic

I like finding what I believe are productive generalizations, or some sameness across apparently diverse events.  Often the subject of Mathematics Rising are things like the observation that we seem to search for words in patterns that resemble the trajectories of a rat foraging for food, or the possibility that natural language can be described using a graphic language designed to describe quantum mechanical interactions, or the idea that natural selection could look like a physics principle, or even the observation that a mathematical pattern is used in the social, political, and spiritual organization of  a village in Southern Zambia.  It may be that mathematics can help bridge diverse experiences because it ignores the linguistic barriers that distinguish them.

Perhaps working in the other direction, Professor of Philosophy Roy T. Cook nicely argues, in The illegitimate open-mindedness of arithmetic, that arithmetic is open-minded (a fairly human attitude) by mathematical necessity.  This essay appeared on the Oxford University Press blog with whom Mathematics Rising has recently become partnered.

Comments are closed.