Counting with Alice


  • Amirouche Moktefi Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance. Tallinn University of Technology



Lewis Carroll, Alice, Identity, Arithmetic, Notation


There are many mathematical references in Lewis Carroll’s two tales for children: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass (1872). Many critics suggested that Carroll inserted hidden meanings in those passages. We rather consider them as part of the story’s setting and narrative. Yet, those passages may be interpreted and used as convenient to illustrate mathematical ideas. In this paper, we consider two passages from the Alice tales that relate to arithmetic, and we discuss them in relation to issues of personal identity, mathematical certainty, the role of notations and the processes of composition and decomposition in mental calculation. Hence, we show how literary texts can be used to convey ideas related to mathematics, mathematical culture and mathematical education. We conclude on the importance of mathematical writings as literary texts.


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Como Citar

Moktefi, A. (2020). Counting with Alice. Revista Internacional De Pesquisa Em Educação Matemática, 10(2), 58-68.