# CHAT: Ethnomathematics, etc. (was Re: OT: In the 'ignorance on parade' file

From: | J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...> |

Date: | Thursday, August 16, 2001, 22:10 |

In a message dated 16.08.2001 10:19:18 AM, yl112@CORNELL.EDU writes:
>_Ethnomathematics_ - the comparartive study of
>> mathematical systems or worldviewpoints from the mathematical perspective,
>> hehe.
>>
><clapping in delight> No, you're absolutely right, but I didn't know
>the term existed (and it didn't occur to me to devise it).

A really good basic introduction to ethnomathematics is contained in
_Introducing Mathematics_ by Ziauddin Sardar, Jerry Ravetz, & Borin Van Loon
(Icon Books in the UK, Totem Books in the USA, 1999, ISBN 1-84046-011-3).
Cited in this beginners' book is the following for a book-length treatment:
_Ethnomathematics_ by M. Ascher (Brooks/Cole Publishing, Pacific Grove, 1990,
ISBN not given!).
_Introducing Mathematics_ does a good job of giving the basics about
ancient Hindu, Chinese, Mayan, Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Native American,
African, aboriginal (Australian), etc. math systems and their attendent
viewpoints. Good antidote to Eurocentricism and great inspiration to c
onstantly see the world anew from some other's worldviewpoint (IMHO a much
needed skill in not only conlanging, but in this 21st Century).
>
>> IIRC we had discussions on math systems in natlangs & conlangs just
>8-9
>> months ago. Fascinating stuff...
>
><nod> I remember pieces of that, too, I think. I'm still sitting
>around with a bunch of morphemes and trying to figure out how to deal
>with relative clauses as well as terms for officer-ranks <wry g>, so I
>haven't been pursuing the math angle. Sometime...any new developments
>on your end?
>

Working on my mutatin' mutant English pidgin/creole conlang Kaos Babul
Ingaliz. (Haven't figured out a math system to go with it yet ;) maybe it
will be a simplified Chinese-like system up to a hundred thousand & a
techno-scientific Greco-Roman system beyond that...)
czHANg

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