# The Universe Does Not Count

## Promoting a Humanistic Ontology for Math

## Keywords:

Critical Mathematics Education, Critical Pedagogy, Ontology, mathematics conocimiento## Abstract

This is a discussion of how myths about nature of math leads to hegemonic structures in mathematics education. I utilize a Currere temporal methodology. I walk through an autobiographical narrative with my past and future influencing my present. I analyze these data and synthesize a humanistic ontology of mathematics that aligns with a critical mathematics education framework based in work by Freire, Skovsmose, and Gutierrez. This is framed by Freire’s concept that all knowledge is human knowledge. Expanding on work by Skovsmose, I suggest mathematics is an abstract human construct based in culture. Similar to Gutierrez’s mathematics conocimiento, I suggest the foundation of equitable math education must conceptualize math as an abstract cognitive process associated with pattern relation, and structure in which all humans engage.

## References

Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the oppressed (revised). New York: Continuum.

Gutiérrez, R., Myers, M., & Kokka, K. (2023). The stories we tell: Why unpacking narratives of mathematics is important for teacher conocimiento. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 70, 101025.

Kasner, E. & Newman, J.R. (1989), Mathematics and the Imagination, Tempus Books, Reelmond, Washington.

Livio, M. (2009), Is God a Mathematician? Simon & Schuster, London.

Pinar, W. F. (1994). Autobiography, Politics and Sexuality: Essays in Curriculum Theory 1972-1992. New York: Peter Lang.

Popper, Karl (1972). Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach.

Shapiro, S. (2000), Thinking about Mathematics, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Skovsmose, O. (1994) Towards a Philosophy of Critical Mathematics Education.

Tegmark, M. (2014), Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest to the Ultimate Reality, A. Knopf, New York.

Voskoglou, M. G. (2018). Is mathematics invented or discovered by humans? Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, 33.

Wigner, E.P. (1960), The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, 13, 1-14 (Richard Courant Lecture, New York University, 11-5-1959).

## Downloads

## Published

## Issue

## Section

## License

*Currere Exchange* is an Open Access publication, meaning the content is free for all to access and download. Authors select a Creative Commons license to attach to their copyrightable work. Readers should identify the license attached to each work in order to determine its reuse rights.

Authors can find a copy of our publication agreement here. Authors will complete a publication agreement form as part of the submission process.

CEJ Publication Agreement: https://goo.gl/forms/k85Fq8icW78CKBO62