Whitehead on Math


Alfred North Whitehead is a Brit who famously practiced philosophy at Harvard. However prior to becoming a “full time” philosopher, he was an oxford educated mathematician!

Consequently, the AOK of Math had a massive influence on his thinking and philosophy. Whitehead went on to formalize some of his musings on Math as an AOK and below are linked some excerpts from his famous work, An Introduction to Mathematics published in 1911.


Backwards Design: From KQs to RLS

This very ugly post is your learning helper as the file will not allow itself to be attached to awakened learning or schoology 🙂 So i just copy and pasted the content below

Knowledge Issues in Math

A key skill in TOK is being able to identify knowledge issues within areas of knowledge.  This would lead to your skill in extracting knowledge questions from those issues and applying those epistemological questions of knowledge to real life situations.

But you don’t know how to do this  yet!! J

So…below are some KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONS relevant to the AOK of mathematics.

Knowledge Questions in math…


  1. TWE is truth different in mathematics, arts and ethics? How is truth unique in mathematics? What is “truth” in math?
  2. Is complete certainty achievable? (in mathematics?)
  3. Do ideas exist?
  4. Must something have physical properties in order to exist?
  5. What role does shared knowledge play in mathematics? Does personal knowledge exist in math?
  6. What’s the difference between knowledge and imagination?
  7. What’s the role of imagination in mathematics?

YOUR TASK: Your task is to move backwards from one of the above knowledge questions to identify KNOWLEDGE ISSUES and then finally a REAL LIFE SITUATION that could have inspired the knowledge question you analyzed.


  1. Choose a knowledge question to analyze above
  2. Identify “knowledge issues” relevant to your chosen question
    1. You need to identify 3-5 knowledge claims
    2. You need to identify 3-5 knowledge issues
    3. You should reference awakenedlearning.com for information, and specifically the document linked on awakenedlearning entitled “tok understanding knowledge issues”
  3. Identify a “real life situation” that you think could give birth to the knowledge question and or claims/issues you chose to analyze. You should try to choose one in Math, but if you can’t, that’s cool.