## What is mathematics, really?

• mathematics • teaching • PermalinkGreg Ashman recently published two provocative posts (the first and the second) in response to Dan Meyer’s post, claiming that “A lot of people don’t seem to understand what mathematics is”. Dan Meyer’s statement:

“Math is only objective, inarguable, and abstract for questions defined so narrowly they’re almost useless to students, teachers, and the world itself.”

formed the starting point of this. Greg’s central thesis is that mathematics uses deductive reasoning, as opposed to other subjects which use inductive reasoning. From this follows the argument that calculating things like p-values is mathematics, whereas evaluating their meaning or usefulness is science. (I encourage you to read the full posts; I have just picked a couple of points out.)