Ethnomathematics: how mathematics is embedded in a culture.

Although it seems obvious that mathematical practices in the Western world, i.e., mathematics as it is mostly practised in the academic setting, combined with a very peculiar and particular model of transmitting mathematical knowledge to society at large, both to young people and adults, can and should be compared to mathematical practices in other cultures, there is hardly any material to be found. Either it is considered to be part of anthropology, sociology or cultural studies but not of philosophy, let alone philosophy of mathematics. The most fascinating aspect is the way different mathematical practices (including Western mathematical practices) are embedded in society at large. Of course, the ethnomathematical literature is quite extensive, so little or no material needs to be collected by ourselves, but a lot of work remains to be done to characterize sociologically Western mathematics to make a cross-cultural comparison possible and meaningful (see, e.g., Pinxten & François, 2011).

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