Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-14-2013

Major Department or Program



Patrick Frierson


A philosophy of math education makes claims, even if only implicitly, about the nature of mathematical knowledge. As a result, philosophies of education corresponding to conflicting philosophies of mathematics must be quite different. My Thesis demonstrates this claim using the philosophies of Imre Lakatos and Alfred North Whitehead. I also show that the philosophies of education and corresponding philosophies of mathematics of both men are related in sophisticated ways, not just the naïve ways one might think at first. Finally, I give a brief account of an ‘American’ philosophy of education based on classroom practice, and I critique it using the two contrasting philosophies of education of Lakatos and Whitehead.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Philosophy and education, Imre Lakatos (1922-1974), Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), Mathematics -- Philosophy, Student assessment -- Understanding through education, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2013 -- Philosophy Department

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Document Type

Whitman Community Accessible Thesis

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