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Loving and Hating Mathematics by Reuben Hersh, Vera John-Steiner

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Conclusions

We have completed our journey, our tour around various aspects of mathematical life. We looked at the beginnings of mathematical life for children and students. Then we studied some of its special features as a unique subculture of modern society. We saw its ability, on the one hand, to provide its devotees with solace and refuge; and we saw, on the other hand, its dangers in permitting them isolation and eccentricity, which have in some rare cases extended to utter madness. We looked next at some of the glue that holds the mathematical community together, in a chapter on friendships, a chapter on communities, and a chapter on aging. Then our last two chapters turned to teaching, learning, and schooling.

Such a broad and inclusive ...

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