Conjecture. ‘Thinking like a mathematician’ is a concept confusing cognition of the individual (student, academic, mathematician) and the fruits of centuries of mathematical and scientific research.

This blog is based on a Twitter thread

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1198527402768515072.html

Teaching students to ‘think like a mathematician’ is a huge waste of effort.

This quote from Whitehead (1911, p. 8) “… mathematics … is necessarily the foundation of exact thought as applied to natural phenomena” refers to science, not to the thinking of an individual (scientist, student).

- Alfred North Whitehead (2011) ‘An introduction to mathematics’

https://archive.org/details/introductiontoma00whitiala

p. 11 “To see what is general in what is particular and what is permanent in what is transitory is the aim of scientific thought.”

‘Scientific thought’ here is a metaphor for scientific research , it is not meant to be the thinking of the individual scientist.

Whitehead, p. 11:

“In the eye of science, the fall of an…

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