Relatively and Philosophically Earnest

Festschrift in honor of Paul Ernest's 65th Birthday

Edited by:
Bharath Sriraman, University of Montana
Simon Goodchild, University of Agder, Norway

A volume in the series: The Montana Mathematics Enthusiast. Editor(s): Bharath Sriraman, University of Montana.

Published 2009

Paul Ernest’s name is synonymous with social constructivism as a philosophy of mathematics. His contributions to mathematics education have occurred at a very fundamental level and to a extent shaped theory development in this field. His research addresses fundamental questions about the nature of mathematics and how it relates to teaching, learning and society. For the last three decades Paul has been a prolific scholar who has published in a wide array of topics such as the relationship between the philosophy of mathematics and mathematics education, and more generally the philosophy of mathematics education, ethics and values in mathematics education, and the philosophy of research methodology.

The title of this Festschrift is meant to be a pun to convey the sometimes relativistic dimension to mathematical certainty that Paul argued for in developing his philosophy, and also a play on words for the fact that absolute “earnestness” may perhaps be a Platonic construct, and not possible in the realm of language and human discourse! Paul Ernest’s scholarly evolution and life can best be summarized in the words of Walt Whitman “Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself” (I am large, I contain multitudes). Indeed his presence has been large and multitudinous and this Festschrift celebrates his 65th Birthday with numerous contributions coming from the mathematics, philosophy and mathematics education communities around the world.

1. Socially (Re)constructing Paul Ernest. Bharath Sriraman (USA). 2. Listen to your Supervisor! Simon Goodchild (Norway). 3. New Winds blowing in Applied Mathematics. Philip J. Davis (USA) 4. Tensions between Mathematics, the Sciences and Philosophy. Jean Paul Van Bendegem (Belgium) 5. The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction in Kant and Bolzano. Michael Otte (Germany) 6. Aesthetics and Creativity: An exploration of the relationship between the constructs. Astrid Brinkmann (Germany) & Bharath Sriraman (USA) 7. The Mathematical State of the World– Explorations into the characteristics of mathematical descriptions. Ole Ravn Christensen (Denmark), Ole Skovsmose (Denmark) & Keiko Yasukawa (Australia)8. Humor in E(a)rnest. Stephen I. Brown (USA) 9. The Human condition, Mathematics and Mathematics Education. Ubiratan D’Ambrosio (Brazil) 10. On Field(ing) Knowledge. Sharon Friesen & David W. Jardine (Canada) 11. 哲学の道 Paul Dowling (UK) 12. Geometry: Tales of elegance and love. Tim Rowland (UK) 13. Needs versus Demands: Some ideas on what it means to know mathematics in society. Tine Wedege (Sweden) 14. New technologies in the classroom: Towards a semiotic analysis. Ferdinando Arzarello (Italy)

"Paul Ernest's name is ubiquitous in the philosophy of education and social constructivism as a philosophy of mathematics. As stated on the back cover, 'His research addresses fundamental questions about the nature of mathematics and how it relates to teaching, learning and society. ... This festschrift is a celebration of a scholar in honour of his 65th birthday." Stuart Rowlands University of Plymouth in Science & education (Read full review)

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