Friday, 14 November 2008

The Story of Maths

This is one of the comments I had on the previous post written by Delete
I enjoyed reading it, and thought to share it with you.

Mathematics is formally defined as the study of the concepts of quantity, structure, space and change. It is based on the logical reasoning. Similar to the laws of logic, first formally introduced by Aristotle, the laws of mathematics provide us with a structured way of thinking to investigate natural phenomena. Also, the laws of logic themselves can be presented as mathematical expressions. Simply, the relationship between Mathematics and sciences is the same relationship between logic and philosophy.

Historically, the importance of teaching Mathematics was debated between Plato and Aristotle. Both philosophers have different schools of thoughts about teaching mathematics. Plato argued that mathematics is defined by human’s perception of the world and not by the absolute truth of the world. He believed that there are eternal substances beyond sensible substances. Aristotle on the other hand argued that we develop Mathematics to define the world we live in and understand the natural phenomena. The two schools of thoughts go far beyond Mathematics, in my opinion. They involve how we view the world and whether the universe is defined prior to our existence or by us, and whether our minds have the ability to develop the mathematics necessary to explain this world.

Two fundamental arguments exist today; one supports the expandinsion of the universe and the other states that the universe is moving towards order and steady state. The Qur’an mentions in many cases, both directly and indirectly, the concept of order. If so, then the question would be whether our minds are designed to think in a way in harmony with the laws of the universe or not. If the math failed to explain a certain phenomenon, does that mean the phenomena is beyond the laws of Mathematics or these laws have not developed enough to explain it.

The ultimate questions are what came in first, what describes what, and what is greater than what!

These philosophical questions were investigated in a great depth by some Muslim philosophers (mostly Shi’aat) in a very unique way.

I diverted from 9ala7’s post about his son’s frustration with negative numbers, but I wanted to present a different point of view about Mathematics and how everything in this universe is connected and how much more we need think, read, write and conduct research to understand our world and ourselves.


Yang said...

يس يس ياخوك

زس از شيق :)

ManalQ8 said...

الصراحة موضوع
مو تعليق

ما شاء الله على الي كتبة

يبين ان دراستة رياضيات

ويحب وغرقان بالرياضيات والارقام

الزرقاء و ندى الجنة said...

ouch maths gives me headache!