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Is This Why We Teach Mathematics?


We teach it for its own sake, because it is beautiful; because it reveals the divine; because it helps us think logically; because it is the language of science and it helps us to understand and reveal the world; because it helps our students to get a job, either directly, in those areas of social or physical science that require mathematics, or indirectly, insofar as mathematics, through testing, acts as a social filter, admitting to certain professional possibilities those who can master the material. We teach it also to reproduce ourselves by producing future research mathematicians and mathematics teachers.

Philip Davis
In Math Worlds : Philosophical and Social Studies
of Mathematics and Mathematics Education

(ed. by by S. Restivo etal, 1993)