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Circles DisturbedThe Interplay of Mathematics and Narrative$
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Apostolos Doxiadis and Barry Mazur

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149042

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149042.001.0001

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Mathematics and Narrative

Mathematics and Narrative

Why Are Stories and Proofs Interesting?

Chapter:
(p.232) Chapter 8 Mathematics and Narrative
Source:
Circles Disturbed
Author(s):

Bernard Teissier

, Apostolos Doxiadis, Barry Mazur
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691149042.003.0008

This chapter examines why a story or proof is interesting by considering the relation between mathematics and narrative, with particular emphasis on clues. It first presents an early view of the “cognitive meaning” that may shed some light on the connection between mathematics and narrative. It then discusses the cognitive interpretation of mathematical objects, arguing that the meaning of the mathematical line is the protomathematical object obtained by identification of the visual line and the vestibular line. It also contends that what makes the narration or the mathematics interesting is the vivacity of the dialogue and of the meaning it evokes, as well as its coherence as a construction.

Keywords:   proof, story, mathematics, narrative, clues, cognitive meaning, mathematical objects, mathematical line, visual line, vestibular line

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