The indispensability argument for abstract mathematical entities has been an important issue in the philosophy of mathematics. The argument relies on several assumptions. Some objections have been made against these assumptions, but there are several serious defects in these objections. Ameliorating these defects leads to a new anti-realistic philosophy of mathematics, mainly: first, in mathematical applications, what really exist and can be used as tools are not abstract mathematical entities, but our inner representations that we create (...) in imagining abstract mathematical entities; second, the thoughts that we create in imagining infinite mathematical entities are bounded by external conditions. (shrink)
Mathematics plays an inordinate role in the work of many of famous Western philosophers, from the time of Plato, through Husserl and Wittgenstein, and even to the present. Why? This paper points to the experience of learning or making mathematics, with an emphasis on proof. It distinguishes two sources of the perennial impact of mathematics on philosophy. They are classified as Ancient and Enlightenment. Plato is emblematic of the former, and Kant of the latter. The Ancient (...) fascination arises from the sense that mathematics explores something ‘out there’. This is illustrated by recent discussions by distinguished contemporary mathematicians. The Enlightenment strand often uses Kant's argot: ‘absolute necessity’, ‘apodictic certainty’ and ‘a priori’ judgement or knowledge. The experience of being compelled by proof, the sense that something must be true, that a result is certain, generates the philosophy. It also creates the illusion that mathematics is certain. Kant's leading question, ‘How is pure mathematics possible?’, is easily misunderstood because the modern distinction between pure and applied is an artefact of the 19th century. As Russell put it, the issue is to explain ‘the apparent power of anticipating facts about things of which we have no experience’. More generally the question is, how is it that pure mathematics is so rich in applications? Some six types of application are distinguished, each of which engenders its own philosophical problems which are descendants of the Enlightenment, and which differ from those descended from the Ancient strand. (shrink)
We argue that there are mutually beneficial connections to be made between ideas in argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematics, and that these connections can be suggested via the process of producing computational models of theories in these domains. We discuss Lakatos’s work (Proofs and Refutations, 1976) in which he championed the informal nature of mathematics, and our computational representation of his theory. In particular, we outline our representation of Cauchy’s proof of Euler’s conjecture, in which (...) we use work by Haggith on argumentation structures, and identify connections between these structures and Lakatos’s methods. (shrink)
We seek to elucidate the philosophical context in which the so-called revolution of rigor in inifinitesimal calculus and mathematical analysis took place. Some of the protagonists of the said revolution were Cauchy, Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. The dominant current of philosophy in Germany at that time was neo-Kantianism. Among its various currents, the Marburg school (Cohen, Natorp, Cassirer, and others) was the one most interested in matters scientific and mathematical. Our main thesis is that Marburg Neo-Kantian philosophy formulated (...) a sophisticated position towards the problems raised by the concepts of limits and infinitesimals. The Marburg school neither clung to the traditional approach of logically and metaphysically dubious infinitesimals, nor whiggishly subscribed to the new orthodoxy of the "great triumvirate" of Cantor, Dedekind, and Weierstrass. Expressed in terms of modern mathematics, the Marburg philosophers saw the introduction of both infinitesimals and limits as completions whose prototype was Dedekind's of the rational number system resulting in the real numbers. At least partially,, this idea of "completions" can be captured in terms of a category-theoretical description of the conceptual development of modern mathematics. The feasibility of such a modern reformuation may be taken as evidence that the philosophical resources of Marburg neo-Kantianism may be of interest even for contemporary philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
onl y to discuss some claims concerning the relationship between mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics that repeatedly occur in his writings. Although I do not know to what extent they are representative of his present position, they correspond to widespread views of the logical community and so seem worth discussing anyhow. Such claims will be used as reference to make some remarks about the present state of relations between mathematical logic and the philosophy of (...) class='Hi'>mathematics. (shrink)
This article attempts to motivate a new approach to anti-realism (or nominalism) in the philosophy of mathematics. I will explore the strongest challenges to anti-realism, based on sympathetic interpretations of our intuitions that appear to support realism. I will argue that the current anti-realistic philosophies have not yet met these challenges, and that is why they cannot convince realists. Then, I will introduce a research project for a new, truly naturalistic, and completely scientific approach to philosophy of (...)mathematics. It belongs to anti-realism, but can meet those challenges and can perhaps convince some realists, at least those who are also naturalists. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present and discuss the philosophical views concerning mathematics of the founders of the so called Warsaw Mathematical School, i.e., Wacław Sierpiński, Zygmunt Janiszewski and Stefan Mazurkiewicz. Their interest in the philosophy of mathematics and their philosophical papers will be considered. We shall try to answer the question whether their philosophical views influenced their proper mathematical investigations. Their views towards set theory and its rôle in mathematics will be emphasized.
Modern philosophy of mathematics has been dominated by Platonism and nominalism, to the neglect of the Aristotelian realist option. Aristotelianism holds that mathematics studies certain real properties of the world – mathematics is neither about a disembodied world of “abstract objects”, as Platonism holds, nor it is merely a language of science, as nominalism holds. Aristotle’s theory that mathematics is the “science of quantity” is a good account of at least elementary mathematics: the ratio (...) of two heights, for example, is a perceivable and measurable real relation between properties of physical things, a relation that can be shared by the ratio of two weights or two time intervals. Ratios are an example of continuous quantity; discrete quantities, such as whole numbers, are also realised as relations between a heap and a unit-making universal. For example, the relation between foliage and being-a-leaf is the number of leaves on a tree, a relation that may equal the relation between a heap of shoes and being-a-shoe. Modern higher mathematics, however, deals with some real properties that are not naturally seen as quantity, so that the “science of quantity” theory of mathematics needs supplementation. Symmetry, topology and similar structural properties are studied by mathematics, but are about pattern, structure or arrangement rather than quantity. (shrink)
In this paper I present a formalist philosophymathematics and apply it directly to Arithmetic. I propose that formalists concentrate on presenting compositional truth theories for mathematical languages that ultimately depend on formal methods. I argue that this proposal occupies a lush middle ground between traditional formalism, fictionalism, logicism and realism.
The paper distinguishes between two kinds of mathematics, natural mathematics which is a result of biological evolution and artificial mathematics which is a result of cultural evolution. On this basis, it outlines an approach to the philosophy of mathematics which involves a new treatment of the method of mathematics, the notion of demonstration, the questions of discovery and justification, the nature of mathematical objects, the character of mathematical definition, the role of intuition, the role (...) of diagrams in mathematics, and the effectiveness of mathematics in natural science. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to present some basic notions of the theory of quantum computing and to compare them with the basic notions of the classical theory of computation. I am convinced, that the results of quantum computation theory (QCT) are not only interesting in themselves, but also should be taken into account in discussions concerning the nature of mathematical knowledge. The philosophical discussion will however be postponed to another paper. QCT seems not to be well-known among philosophers (...) (at least not to the degree it deserves), so the aim of this paper is to provide the necessary technical preliminaries presented in a way accessible to the general philosophical audience. (shrink)
Here, Bob Hale and Crispin Wright assemble the key writings that lead to their distinctive neo-Fregean approach to the philosophy of mathematics. In addition to fourteen previously published papers, the volume features a new paper on the Julius Caesar problem; a substantial new introduction mapping out the program and the contributions made to it by the various papers; a section explaining which issues most require further attention; and bibliographies of references and further useful sources. It will be recognized (...) as the most powerful presentation yet of a neo-Fregean program. (shrink)
This chapter argues that the standard conception of Spinoza as a fellow-travelling mechanical philosopher and proto-scientific naturalist is misleading. It argues, first, that Spinoza’s account of the proper method for the study of nature presented in the Theological-Political Treatise (TTP) points away from the one commonly associated with the mechanical philosophy. Moreover, throughout his works Spinoza’s views on the very possibility of knowledge of nature are decidedly sceptical (as specified below). Third, in the seventeenth-century debates over proper methods in (...) the sciences, Spinoza sided with those that criticized the aspirations of those (the physico-mathematicians, Galileo, Huygens, Wallis, Wren, etc) who thought the application of mathematics to nature was the way to make progress. In particular, he offers grounds for doubting their confidence in the significance of measurement as well as their piece-meal methodology (see section 2). Along the way, this chapter offers a new interpretation of common notions in the context of treating Spinoza’s account of motion (see section 3). (shrink)
Most contemporary philosophy of mathematics focuses on a small segment of mathematics, mainly the natural numbers and foundational disciplines like set theory. While there are good reasons for this approach, in this paper I will examine the philosophical problems associated with the area of mathematics known as applied mathematics. Here mathematicians pursue mathematical theories that are closely connected to the use of mathematics in the sciences and engineering. This area of mathematics seems to (...) proceed using different methods and standards when compared to much of mathematics. I argue that applied mathematics can contribute to the philosophy of mathematics and our understanding of mathematics as a whole. (shrink)
This unique book by Stewart Shapiro looks at a range of philosophical issues and positions concerning mathematics in four comprehensive sections. Part I describes questions and issues about mathematics that have motivated philosophers since the beginning of intellectual history. Part II is an historical survey, discussing the role of mathematics in the thought of such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. Part III covers the three major positions held throughout the twentieth century: the idea that (...) class='Hi'>mathematics is logic (logicism), the view that the essence of mathematics is the rule-governed manipulation of characters (formalism), and a revisionist philosophy that focuses on the mental activity of mathematics (intuitionism). Finally, Part IV brings the reader up-to-date with a look at contemporary developments within the discipline. This sweeping introductory guide to the philosophy of mathematics makes these fascinating concepts accessible to those with little background in either mathematics or philosophy. (shrink)
Offering a collection of fifteen essays that deal with issues at the intersection of phenomenology, logic, and the philosophy of mathematics, this book is divided into three parts. Part I, Reason, Science, and Mathematics contains a general essay on Husserl's conception of science and logic, an essay of mathematics and transcendental phenomenology, and an essay oN phenomenology and modern pure geometry. Part II is focused on Kurt Godel's interest in phenomenology. It explores Godel's ideas and also (...) some work of Quine, Penelope Maddy and Roger Penrose. Part III deals with elementary, constructive areas of mathematics. These are areas of mathematics that are closer to their origins in simple cognitive activities and in everyday experience. This part of the book contains essays on intuitionism, Hermann Weyl, the notion of constructive proof, Poincare; and Frege. (shrink)
The twentieth century has witnessed an unprecedented 'crisis in the foundations of mathematics', featuring a world-famous paradox (Russell's Paradox), a challenge to 'classical' mathematics from a world-famous mathematician (the 'mathematical intuitionism' of Brouwer), a new foundational school (Hilbert's Formalism), and the profound incompleteness results of Kurt Gödel. In the same period, the cross-fertilization of mathematics and philosophy resulted in a new sort of 'mathematical philosophy', associated most notably (but in different ways) with Bertrand Russell, W. (...) V. Quine, and Gödel himself, and which remains at the focus of Anglo-Saxon philosophical discussion. The present collection brings together in a convenient form the seminal articles in the philosophy of mathematics by these and other major thinkers. It is a substantially revised version of the edition first published in 1964 and includes a revised bibliography. The volume will be welcomed as a major work of reference at this level in the field. (shrink)
Philosophy of Mathematics is clear and engaging, and student friendly The book discusses the great philosophers and the importance of mathematics to their thought. Among topics discussed in the book are the mathematical image, platonism, picture-proofs, applied mathematics, Hilbert and Godel, knots and notation definitions, picture-proofs and Wittgenstein, computation, proof and conjecture.
Mathematics and logic have been central topics of concern since the dawn of philosophy. Since logic is the study of correct reasoning, it is a fundamental branch of epistemology and a priority in any philosophical system. Philosophers have focused on mathematics as a case study for general philosophical issues and for its role in overall knowledge- gathering. Today, philosophy of mathematics and logic remain central disciplines in contemporary philosophy, as evidenced by the regular appearance (...) of articles on these topics in the best mainstream philosophical journals; in fact, the last decade has seen an explosion of scholarly work in these areas. This volume covers these disciplines in a comprehensive and accessible manner, giving the reader an overview of the major problems, positions, and battle lines. The 26 contributed chapters are by established experts in the field, and their articles contain both exposition and criticism as well as substantial development of their own positions. The essays, which are substantially self-contained, serve both to introduce the reader to the subject and to engage in it at its frontiers. Certain major positions are represented by two chapters--one supportive and one critical. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Math and Logic is a ground-breaking reference like no other in its field. It is a central resource to those wishing to learn about the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of logic, or some aspect thereof, and to those who actively engage in the discipline, from advanced undergraduates to professional philosophers, mathematicians, and historians. (shrink)
The Conceptual Roots of Mathematics is a comprehensive study of the foundation of mathematics. Lucas, one of the most distinguished Oxford scholars, covers a vast amount of ground in the philosophy of mathematics, showing us that it is actually at the heart of the study of epistemology and metaphysics.
Thirteen up-and-coming researchers in the philosophy of mathematics have been invited to write on what they take to be the right philosophical account of mathematics, examining along the way where they think the philosophy of mathematics is and ought to be going. A rich and diverse picture emerges. Some broader tendencies can nevertheless be detected: there is increasing attention to the practice, language and psychology of mathematics, a move to reassess the orthodoxy, as well (...) as inspiration from philosophical logic. (shrink)
This volume offers a selection of the most interesting and important work from recent years in the philosophy of mathematics, which has always been closely linked to, and has exerted a significant influence upon, the main stream of analytical philosophy. The issues discussed are of interest throughout philosophy, and no mathematical expertise is required of the reader. Contributors include W.V. Quine, W.D. Hart, Michael Dummett, Charles Parsons, Paul Benacerraf, Penelope Maddy, W.W. Tait, Hilary Putnam, George Boolos, (...) Daniel Isaacson, Stewart Shapiro, and Hartry Field. (shrink)
In this book, which is both a philosophical and historiographical study, the author investigates the fallibility and the rationality of mathematics by means of rational reconstructions of developments in mathematics. The initial chapters are devoted to a critical discussion of Lakatos' philosophy of mathematics. In the remaining chapters several episodes in the history of mathematics are discussed, such as the appearance of deduction in Greek mathematics and the transition from Eighteenth-Century to Nineteenth-Century analysis. The (...) author aims at developing a notion of mathematical rationality that agrees with the historical facts. A modified version of Lakatos' methodology is proposed. The resulting constructions show that mathematical knowledge is fallible, but that its fallibility is remarkably weak. (shrink)
Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, (...) from the central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Mathematics and its philosophy; 2. The limits of mathematics; 3. Plato's heaven; 4. Fiction, metaphor, and partial truths; 5. Mathematical explanation; 6. The applicability of mathematics; 7. Who's afraid of inconsistent mathematics?; 8. A rose by any other name; 9. Epilogue: desert island theorems.
In this ambitious study, David Corfield attacks the widely held view that it is the nature of mathematical knowledge which has shaped the way in which mathematics is treated philosophically, and claims that contingent factors have brought us to the present thematically limited discipline. Illustrating his discussion with a wealth of examples, he sets out a variety of approaches to new thinking about the philosophy of mathematics, ranging from an exploration of whether computers producing mathematical proofs or (...) conjectures are doing real mathematics, to the use of analogy, the prospects for a Bayesian confirmation theory, the notion of a mathematical research programme, and the ways in which new concepts are justified. His highly original book challenges both philosophers and mathematicians to develop the broadest and richest philosophical resources for work in their disciplines, and points clearly to the ways in which this can be done. (shrink)
Volume 9 of the Routledge History of Philosophy surveys ten key topics in the Philosophy of Science, Logic and Mathematics in the Twentieth Century. Each article is written by one of the world's leading experts in that field. The papers provide a comprehensive introduction to the subject in question, and are written in a way that is accessible to philosophy undergraduates and to those outside of philosophy who are interested in these subjects. Each chapter contains (...) an extensive bibliography of the major writings in the field. Among the topics covered are the philosophy of logic; Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus; a survey of logical positivism; the philosophy of physics and of science; probability theory and cybernetics. (shrink)
It is a rather safe statement to claim that the social dimensions of the scientific process are accepted in a fair share of studies in the philosophy of science. It is a somewhat safe statement to claim that the social dimensions are now seen as an essential element in the understanding of what human cognition is and how it functions. But it would be a rather unsafe statement to claim that the social is fully accepted in the philosophy (...) of mathematics. And we are not quite sure what kind of statement it is to claim that the social dimensions in theories of mathematics education are becoming more prominent, compared to the psychological dimensions. In our contribution we will focus, after a brief presentation of the above claims, on this particular domain to understand the successes and failures of the development of theories of mathematics education that focus on the social and not primarily on the psychological. (shrink)
This book makes available to the English reader nearly all of the shorter philosophical works, published or unpublished, that Husserl produced on the way to the phenomenological breakthrough recorded in his Logical Investigations of 1900-1901. Here one sees Husserl's method emerging step by step, and such crucial substantive conclusions as that concerning the nature of Ideal entities and the status the intentional `relation' and its `objects'. Husserl's literary encounters with many of the leading thinkers of his day illuminates both the (...) context and the content of his thought. Many of the groundbreaking analyses provided in these texts were never again to be given the thorough expositions found in these early writings. Early Writings in the Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics is essential reading for students of Husserl and all those who enquire into the nature of mathematical and logical knowledge. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophy’s three main naturalisms are methodological, ontological and epistemological. Methodological naturalism states that the only authoritative standards are those of science. Ontological and epistemological naturalism respectively state that all entities and all valid methods of inquiry are in some sense natural. In philosophy of mathematics of the past few decades methodological naturalism has received the lion’s share of the attention, so we concentrate on this. Ontological and epistemological naturalism in the philosophy of mathematics are (...) discussed more briefly in section 6. (shrink)
This paper has two main purposes: first to compare Wittgenstein's views to the more traditional views in the philosophy of mathematics; second, to provide a general outline for a Wittgensteinian reply to two objections against Wittgenstein's account of mathematics: the objectivity objection and the consistency objections, respectively. Two fundamental thesmes of Wittgenstein's account of mathematics title the first two sections: mathematical propositions are rules and not descritpions and mathematics is employed within a form of life. (...) Under each heading, I examine Wittgenstein's rejection of alternative views. My aim is to make clear the differences and to suggest some similarities. As will become clear, Wittgenstein often rejects opposing views for the same or similar reasons. This comparison will provide the necessary background for better understanding Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics, for appreciating its many unappreciated advantages and, finally, for defending a conventionalist account of mathematics. (shrink)
This edited volume, aimed at both students and researchers in philosophy, mathematics and history of science, highlights leading developments in the overlapping areas of philosophy and the history of modern mathematics. It is a coherent, wide ranging account of how a number of topics in the philosophy of mathematics must be reconsidered in the light of the latest historical research and how a number of historical accounts can be deepened by embracing philosophical questions.
Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic method is connected to the so-called Aristotelian model of science and has to be interpreted in a (broad) directional sense. With the distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments the critical Kant did introduced a new way of using the terms 'analytic'-'synthetic', but one that still lies in line with their directional sense. A careful comparison of the conceptions of the critical Kant with ideas of the precritical Kant as expressed in _Ãœber die Deutlichkeit, leads (...) to the interpretation defended here of Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments within his philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
The aim of the paper is to present the main trends and tendencies in the philosophy of mathematics in the 20th century. To make the analysis more clear we distinguish three periods in the development of the philosophy of mathematics in this century: (1) the first thirty years when three classical doctrines: logicism, intuitionism and formalism were formulated, (2) the period from 1931 till the end of the fifties - period of stagnation, and (3) from the (...) beginning of the sixties till today when new tendencies putting stress on the knowing subject and the research practice of mathematicians arose. (shrink)
The main thesis of this paper is that, Contrary to general belief, George berkeley did in fact express a coherent philosophy of mathematics in his major published works. He treated arithmetic and geometry separately and differently, And this paper focuses on his philosophy of arithmetic, Which is shown to be strikingly similar to the 19th and 20th century philosophies of mathematics known as 'formalism' and 'instrumentalism'. A major portion of the paper is devoted to showing how (...) this philosophy of mathematics follows directly from berkeley's theory of signs and his philosophy of language, And from his discovery of an alternative to the correspondence theory of truth used by most of his predecessors. (shrink)
Recent philosophical accounts of mathematics increasingly focus on the quasi-Empirical rather than the formal aspects of the field, The praxis of how mathematics is done rather than the idealized logical structure and foundations of the theory. The ultimate test of any philosophy of mathematics, However idealized, Is its ability to account adequately for the factual development of the subject in real time. As a text case, The works and views of felix klein (1849-1925) were studied. Major (...) advances in mathematics turn out to be most adequately understood as shifts to new conceptualizations at different levels of idealization and abstraction. The implications of the model are explored with special reference to modern philosophical views of the nature and the warrants of mathematical claims to knowledge, And the methodology of the development of this knowledge. (shrink)
This paper argues that kant's general epistemology incorporates a theory of algebra which entails a less constricted view of kant's philosophy of mathematics than is sometimes given. To extract a plausible theory of algebra from the "critique of pure reason", It is necessary to link kant's doctrine of mathematical construction to the idea of the "schematism". Mathematical construction can be understood to accommodate algebraic symbolism as well as the more familiar spatial configurations of geometry.
This book discusses both the philosophy of mathematics and of mathematics education. The first part is a critique of existing approaches and a new philosophy of mathematics. Chapters include: (1) "A Critique of Absolutist Philosophies of Mathematics," (2) "The Philosophy of Mathematics Reconceptualized," (3) "Social Constructivism as a Philosophy of Mathematics," (4) "Social Constructivism and Subjective Knowledge," and (5) "The Parallels of Social Constructivism." The second part of the book explores (...) the philosophy of mathematics education and shows that many aspects of mathematics education rest on underlying, usually implicit, philosophical assumptions. Making these assumptions explicit puts a critical tool into the hands of teachers and researchers. Chapters in this section are: (6) "Aims and Ideologies of Mathematics Education," (7) "Groups with Utilitarian Ideologies," (8) "Groups with Purist Ideologies," (9) "The Social Change Ideology of the Public Educators," (10) "Critical Review of Cockcroft and the National Curriculum," (11) "Hierarchy in Mathematics, Learning, Ability and Society," (12) "Mathematics, Values and Equal Opportunities," and (13) "Investigation, Problem Solving and Pedagogy." Each chapter contains notes. (Contains 654 references.) (MKR). (shrink)
Fictionalism in the philosophy of mathematics is the view that mathematical statements, such as ‘8+5=13’ and ‘π is irrational’, are to be interpreted at face value and, thus interpreted, are false. Fictionalists are typically driven to reject the truth of such mathematical statements because these statements imply the existence of mathematical entities, and according to fictionalists there are no such entities. Fictionalism is a nominalist (or anti-realist) account of mathematics in that it denies the existence of a (...) realm of abstract mathematical entities. It should be contrasted with mathematical realism (or Platonism) where mathematical statements are taken to be true, and, moreover, are taken to be truths about mathematical entities. Fictionalism should also be contrasted with other nominalist philosophical accounts of mathematics that propose a reinterpretation of mathematical statements, according to which the statements in question are true but no longer about mathematical entities. Fictionalism is thus an error theory of mathematical discourse: at face value mathematical discourse commits us to mathematical entities and although we normally take many of the statements of this discourse to be true, in doing so we are in error (cf. error theories in ethics). (shrink)
If mathematics is regarded as a science, then the philosophy of mathematics can be regarded as a branch of the philosophy of science, next to disciplines such as the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of biology. However, because of its subject matter, the philosophy of mathematics occupies a special place in the philosophy of science. Whereas the natural sciences investigate entities that are located in space and time, it is not (...) at all obvious that this is also the case with respect to the objects that are studied in mathematics. In addition to that, the methods of investigation of mathematics differ markedly from the methods of investigation in the natural sciences. Whereas the latter acquire general knowledge using inductive methods, mathematical knowledge appears to be acquired in a different way, namely, by deduction from basic principles. The status of mathematical knowledge also appears to differ from the status of knowledge in the natural sciences. The theories of the natural sciences appear to be less certain and more open to revision than mathematical theories. For these reasons mathematics poses problems of a quite distinctive kind for philosophy. Therefore philosophers have accorded special attention to ontological and epistemological questions concerning mathematics. (shrink)
In the philosophy of mathematics, as in its a meta-domain, we find that the words as: consequentialism, implicativity, operationalism, creativism, fertility, … grasp at most of mathematical essence and that the questions of truthfulness, of common sense, or of possible models for (otherwise abstract) mathematical creations,i.e. of ontological status of mathematical entities etc. - of second order. Truthfulness of (necessary) succession of consequences from causes in the science of nature is violated yet with Hume, so that some traditional (...) footings of logico-mathematical conclusions should equally be falled under suspicion in the last century. We have in mind, say, strict-material implication which led the emergence of relevance logics, or the law of excluded middle that denied intuitionists i.e. paraconsistent logical systems where the contradiction is allowed, as well as the quantum logic which doesn't know, say, the definition of implication etc. Kant's beliefs miscarried hereafter that number (arithmetic) and form (geometry) would bring a (finite) truth on space and time, when they revealed relative and curvated, just as it is contradictory essentially understanding of basic phenomena in the nature: of light as an unity of wave – particle, or that both "exist" and "don't exist" numbers as powers of sets between 0א and c (the independence of continuum hypothesis) etc. Mathematical truths are ''truths of possible worlds'', in which we have only to believe that they will meet once recognizable models in reality. At last, we argue in favour of thesis that a possible representing "in relief" of mathematical entities and relations in the "noetic matter" (Aristotle) would be of a striking heuristic character for this science. (shrink)
This paper surveys Bolzano's Beyträge zu einer begründeteren Darstellung der Mathematik (Contributions to a better-grounded presentation of mathematics) on the 200th anniversary of its publication. The first and only published issue presents a definition of mathematics, a classification of its subdisciplines, and an essay on mathematical method, or logic. Though underdeveloped in some areas (including,somewhat surprisingly, in logic), it is nonetheless a radically innovative work, where Bolzano presents a remarkably modern account of axiomatics and the epistemology of the (...) formal sciences. We also discuss the second, unfinished and unpublished issue, where Bolzano develops his views on universal mathematics. Here we find the beginnings of his theory of collections, for him the most fundamental of the mathematical disciplines. Though not exactly the same as the later Cantorian set theory, Bolzano's theory of collections was used in very similar ways in mathematics, notably in analysis. In retrospect, Bolzano's debut in philosophy was a remarkably successful one, though its fruits would only become generally known much later. (shrink)
Foundational work in mathematics by some of the other participants in the symposium helps towards answering the question whether a heterodox mathematics could in principle be used as successfully as is orthodox mathematics in scientific applications. This question is turn, it will be argued, is relevant to the question how far current science is the way it is because the world is the way it is, and how far because we are the way we are, which is (...) a central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of science. (shrink)