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2016

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Wabi-Sabi Mathematics, Jean-Francois Maheux Jan 2016

Wabi-Sabi Mathematics, Jean-Francois Maheux

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Mathematics and aesthetics have a long history in common. In this relation however, the aesthetic dimension of mathematics largely refers to concepts such as purity, absoluteness, symmetry, and so on. In stark contrast to such a nexus of ideas, the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi values imperfections, temporality, incompleteness, earthly crudeness, and even contradiction. In this paper, I discuss the possibilities of “wabi-sabi mathematics” by showing (1) how wabi-sabi mathematics is conceivable; (2) how wabi-sabi mathematics is observable; and (3) why we should bother about wabi-sabi mathematics