Phenomenology and mathematical practice

Philosophia Mathematica 10 (1):3-14 (2002)
A phenomenological approach to mathematical practice is sketched out, and some problems with this sort of approach are considered. The approach outlined takes mathematical practices as its data, and seeks to provide an empirically adequate philosophy of mathematics based on observation of these practices. Some observations are presented, based on two case studies of some research into the classification of C*-algebras. It is suggested that an anti-realist account of mathematics could be developed on the basis of these and other studies, locating the substance of mathematics in the various informal argument methods used by mathematicians.
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