Thursday, 6 September 2018

Thinking About the Origins of Maths.

We have begun exploring some initial ideas for our new Inquiry Beautiful Ideas in Maths by asking some questions about the origins of Maths.  Where does the need for Maths arise?

Some of our first ideas.

As part of today's session we looked at anthropologist Daniel Everett's work with the Pirahã, an indigenous people of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.   We discovered that the Pirahã have no actual numbers; words for a few and many, but beyond that nothing.  They don't need to explain any further because they have no elaborate systems of time or finance.  Even in terms of their food, explaining that the have a few fish or many seems to be sufficient. Here, Everett can be seen interviewing some of the Pirahã, Daniel Everett explaining this idea

Does the need for Maths arise as lives and civilisations become more complex? 
We are keen to explore how Maths has developed. How was it imagined and who imagined it?  

Raffy said that "it was always there, people realised that Maths was there to be discovered".  We are looking forward to developing questions which will help to explore these ideas. 

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