Does mathematics promote human flourishing?

Before seeking the answer to the question, “does mathematics promote human flourishing?’ people should know what “human flourishing” means. Ancient Greeks called the concept of “human flourishing” as “eudaimonia” which means “a life that is full of all the best goods.” Experts like Su, who is a renowned mathematician and who was President of the Mathematical Association of America till recently, opine that human desires basically come under five categories called “play, beauty, truth, justice and love.” These experts go on to add that these desires can be met by pursuing mathematics. It is perhaps due to this reason math enrichment singapore programs have been put in place. 

The definition of human flourishing can be close to what Aristotle called as an “activity in accordance with virtue.” If a person has a playful mind or spirit or he is seeking truth, is putting up a fight for justice, pursuing beauty or showing his love for another person, it can be construed that he is engaging himself in activities that are congruent with certain specific virtues. To put this in the modern parlance, living up to one’s potential can be described as “human flourishing,” though this description imposes a lot of limits on the definition.

But you may ask how mathematics can promote human flourishing. Mathematics imparts the required skills in people for experiencing the activities, for enjoying doing them and living life to the fullest. Those who learn mathematics can easily develop logical skills that may go a long way not only in solving mathematical problems but in surmounting the troubles or issues they may face in their life. Conversely stated, those who use logical skills with their mathematical prowess can easily surmount the impediments they face in their life, can enjoy their activities and live their life to the fullest.

This can be extended to other activities of life as well. People may have various goals in their life. Some people may be aiming to reach the top in their organization, a few others may want to succeed in their business and yet a few others may want to travel the entire world. Regardless of what their goals are, every person may face issues or hurdles along the way. But if they decide to quit as soon as they come across the first hurdle, how can they achieve their goals?

Mathematics alone will impart logical thinking skills in people. They can use these skills for analyzing and finding out the probability of their success. Of course, there should make appropriate efforts. If there are more number of ways for achieving their goal, they can use the mathematical skills they have acquired and opt for the best way that can take them on the fast lane so they can reach their goal more quickly.

These are the reasons that may have probably prompted the authorities to set up math enrichment programs in Singapore. In short, it can assertively be said that mathematics promotes human flourishing.

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