In this essay mathematics is conceived of as intentional human activity. Since intention implies choice, there are ethical dimensions to making mathematical choices. Embracing these dimensions requires acknowledging the contextual nature of mathematics. First John Dewey’s philosophy of mathematics and a reconsideration of mathematical empiricism are posited as ways to foster a context sensitive understanding of mathematics. Next, I address the ways in which existent conceptions of mathematics—even those which support reform in mathematics education—are insufficient with regard to their ability to recognize its human dimensions. The essay concludes with a distinction between mathematics education that ethically applies existing versions of mathematics and mathematics education that seeks to recast mathematics as a necessarily and undeniably ethical enterprise.
"Doin' the Math: On Meaningful Mathematics-Ethics Connections,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 5
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol5/iss1/9