Howard Woodhouse, « Mathematics as Liberal Education: Whitehead and the Rhythm of Life », VUB, 16/05

The Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science of the Free University of Brussels has the pleasure to invite you to attend (free of charge), on
WEDNESDAY MAY 16 at 2 pm in ROOM E.0.04 (Campus Etterbeek : http://www.vub.ac.be/english/infoabout/campuses/index.html),
the following lecture by Howard Woodhouse (see: http://www.usask.ca/education/people/woodhouseh.htm ):

 
Howard Woodhouse, University of Saskatchewan

 
In several of his works, Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) presents mathematics as a way of learning about general ideas that increase our understanding of the universe. The danger is that students get bogged down in its technical operations. He argues that mathematics should be an integral part of a new kind of liberal education, incorporating science, the humanities, and “technical education” (making things with one’s hands), thereby integrating “head-work and hand-work.” In order to appreciate the role mathematics plays in modern science, students should understand its diverse history which is capable of bringing abstract ideas to life. Moreover, mathematics can discern the alternating rhythms of repetition and difference in nature constituting the periodicity of life. Since these same rhythms are to be found in his theory of learning as growth, there appears to be a pattern linking Whitehead’s approach to mathematics and his educational philosophy.

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