Category Archives: Phil. of maths

Conference: Philosophy of mathematics — truth, existence and explanation.

Philosophy of maths AND Italy — what’s not to like? So let me note that the second conference of the Italian Network for the Philosophy of Mathematics has been announced for 26-28 May 2016, University of Chieti-Pescara, Chieti, Italy.   The invited speakers are Volker … Continue reading

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Mathematical depth

In our Mind review of Penelope Maddy’s Defending the Axioms, Luca Incurvati and I were rather skeptical about whether she could really rely on the notion of mathematical depth to do as much work as she wants it to do in … Continue reading

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What’s so great about sets?

Here’s something I wrote a while back to answer a question on math.stackexchange about why sets and set theory should (or shouldn’t) be thought to have a special place in maths. Following a link on a related matter I found … Continue reading

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Quick book note: Pollard’s Mathematical Prelude to the Philosophy of Maths

“This book is based on two premises: one cannot understand philosophy of mathematics without understanding mathematics and one cannot understand mathematics without doing mathematics.” Thus the blurb of Stephen Pollard’s recent book A Mathematical Prelude to the Philosophy of Mathematics … Continue reading

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Parsons #4: Gödel

There are four pieces on Kurt Gödel in Parsons’s Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century. The first is just ten pages long, and is an encyclopaedia-style entry on Gödel from the 2005 Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers. It seems to me … Continue reading

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Parsons #3: Bernays (continued)

We noted a couple of the most familiar early papers by Bernays, and picked out a prominent theme —  a kind of anti-foundationalism (as Parsons labels it). Perhaps we can give finitary arithmetic some distinctive kind of justification (in intuition? in ‘formal … Continue reading

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Parsons #2: Bernays

I guess for many — most? — of us (the anglophone, non-German-reading us), our initial acquaintance with Paul Bernays as a philosopher of mathematics was via his 1934 lecture ‘On platonism in mathematics’ reprinted in the Benacerraf and Putnam collection Philosophy of Mathematics. In retrospect, the important … Continue reading

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Parsons #1: Predicativity

As I’ve said before, I’m planning to post over the coming weeks some thoughts on the essays (re)published in Charles Parsons’s Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century (Harvard UP). I’m going to be reviewing the collection of Mind, and promising … Continue reading

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Charles Parsons’s new book — let’s discuss it!

Charles Parsons has a new book out, Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century a collection of his essays (all but one, I think,  previously published but with some new postscripts). Here’s the table of contents. So there is a … Continue reading

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Does mathematics need a philosophy? — 3

Some final thoughts after the TMS meeting last week (again, mostly intended for local mathmos rather than the usual philosophical readers of this blog …). Consider again that rather unclear question ‘Does mathematics need a philosophy?’. Here’s another way of … Continue reading

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