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ERIC Number: EJ907522
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0228-0671
Incarnation: Radicalizing Embodiment of Mathematics
Roth, Wolff-Michael
For the Learning of Mathematics, v30 n2 p8-17 2010
As the end result of metaphysics, the Kantian and constructivist mind is not present in the world but withdrawn into the netherworld of its representations and constructions. First phenomenology then the embodied cognition research showed how there could be no cognition without the human body. There is something unsatisfying and lacking, however, in the concept of the body, which undermines the very effort to ground (mathematical) knowledge differently than in the private cogitations of the isolated mind. The purpose of this paper is to argue for a more radical approach to the conceptualization of mathematical knowledge that is grounded in dialectical materialist psychology (as developed by Lev Vygotsky), materialist phenomenology (as developed by Maine de Biran and Michel Henry), and phenomenological sociology (Bourdieu). Most essentially, the approach rests on a shift from the material body to the flesh. The close relation between cognition and the world is possible only when there is flesh, whereas material bodies are insufficient condition for mind to emerge. In this phenomenological reflection on the conditions of geometrical knowing, I draw on a concrete example from a second-grade classroom, which I consider from the perspectives of different conceptualizations of mathematical knowing.
FLM Publishing Association. 382 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G5, Canada; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A