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)
Do numbers, sets, and so forth, exist? What do mathematical statements mean? Are they literally true or false, or do they lack truth values altogether? Addressing questions that have attracted lively debate in recent years, Stewart Shapiro contends that standard realist and antirealist accounts of mathematics are both problematic. As Benacerraf first noted, we are confronted with the following powerful dilemma. The desired continuity between mathematical and, say, scientific language suggests realism, but realism in this context suggests seemingly intractable (...) epistemic problems. As a way out of this dilemma, Shapiro articulates a structuralist approach. On this view, the subject matter of arithmetic, for example, is not a fixed domain of numbers independent of each other, but rather is the natural number structure, the pattern common to any system of objects that has an initial object and successor relation satisfying the induction principle. Using this framework, realism in mathematics can be preserved without troublesome epistemic consequences. Shapiro concludes by showing how a structuralist approach can be applied to wider philosophical questions such as the nature of an "object" and the Quinean nature of ontological commitment. Clear, compelling, and tautly argued, Shapiro's work, noteworthy both in its attempt to develop a full-length structuralist approach to mathematics and to trace its emergence in the history of mathematics, will be of deep interest to both philosophers and mathematicians. (shrink)
A common analysis of Edmund Husserl’s early works on the philosophy of logic and mathematics presents these writings as the result of a combination of two distinct strands of influence: on the one hand a mathematical influence due to his teachers is Berlin, such as Karl Weierstrass, and on the other hand a philosophical influence due to his later studies in Vienna with Franz Brentano. However, the formative influences on Husserl’s early philosophy cannot be so cleanly separated (...) into a philosophical and a mathematical pathway. Growing evidence indicates that a Brentanist philosophy of mathematics was already in place before Husserl. Rather than an original combination at the confluence of two different streams, his early writings represent an elaboration of topics and problems that were already being discussed in the School of Brentano within a pre-existing framework. The traditional account understandably neglects Brentano’s own work on the philosophy of mathematics and logic, which can be found mostly in his unpublished manuscripts and lectures, and various works by Brentano’s students on the philosophy of mathematics which have only recently emerged from obscurity. Husserl’s early works must be correctly placed in this preceding context in order to be fully understood and correctly assessed. (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)
An Aristotelian Philosophy of Mathematics breaks the impasse between Platonist and nominalist views of mathematics. Neither a study of abstract objects nor a mere language or logic, mathematics is a science of real aspects of the world as much as biology is. For the first time, a philosophy of mathematics puts applied mathematics at the centre. Quantitative aspects of the world such as ratios of heights, and structural ones such as symmetry and continuity, (...) are parts of the physical world and are objects of mathematics. Though some mathematical structures such as infinities may be too big to be realized in fact, all of them are capable of being realized. Informed by the author's background in both philosophy and mathematics, but keeping to simple examples, the book shows how infant perception of patterns is extended by visualization and proof to the vast edifice of modern pure and applied mathematical knowledge. (shrink)
Offering a collection of fifteen essays that deal with issues at the intersection of phenomenology, logic, and the philosophy of mathematics, this 2005 book is divided into three parts. Part I 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, Poincaré and Frege. (shrink)
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 inspiring 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)
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.
This book provides a reading of Kant's theory of the construction of mathematical concepts through a fully contextualised analysis. In this work the author argues that it is only through an understanding of the relevant eighteenth century mathematics textbooks, and the related mathematical practice, that the material and context necessary for a successful interpretation of Kant's philosophy can be provided.
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.
_Philosophy of Mathematics_ is an excellent introductory text. This student friendly book discusses the great philosophers and the importance of mathematics to their thought. It includes the following topics: * the mathematical image * platonism * picture-proofs * applied mathematics * Hilbert and Godel * knots and nations * definitions * picture-proofs and Wittgenstein * computation, proof and conjecture. The book is ideal for courses on philosophy of mathematics and logic.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Available from UMI in association with The British Library. ;Plato's philosophy of mathematics must be a philosophy of 4th century B.C. Greek mathematics, and cannot be understood if one is not aware that the notions involved in this mathematics differ radically from our own notions; particularly, the notion of arithmos is quite different from our notion of number. The development of the post-Renaissance notion of number brought with it a different conception of what mathematics (...) is, and we must be able to see the differences before we can begin to appreciate Plato's views, which must never be seen as applying to a revolutionary notion of mathematics . For this reason the first part of this dissertation must comprise a detailed analysis of these differences, along with some criticisms of those of Plato's modern interpreters who have not taken this point. Much of what will be found here can be found in Jacob Klein's Greek Mathematics and the Origin of Algebra, which will be extensively quoted and interpreted. This book is often quoted, but very seldom understood; or at least, those lessons which should be taken from it are rarely applied to Platonic exegesis. In the second part I attempt a better explanation of Plato's mathematical ontology, beginning with the most extensive passage in the dialogues, the triple image of Sun, Line and Cave in Republic. This reveals a relation between sensibles and forms which is at odds with the traditional view that mathematical objects are never precisely accurate instances of their forms--but this view can be refuted. Plato's view of the nature of mathematical objects will be seen to be a metaphorical way of saying what Aristotle says logically, and is entirely appropriate to the aims and methods of his contemporary mathematicians. Aristotle's criticism of Plato's views is examined and found to make sense and to be appropriate to views which Plato could consistently have held. (shrink)
This is a concise introductory textbook for a one semester course in the history and philosophy of mathematics. It is written for mathematics majors, philosophy students, history of science students and secondary school mathematics teachers. The only prerequisite is a solid command of pre-calculus mathematics. It is shorter than the standard textbooks in that area and thus more accessible to students who have trouble coping with vast amounts of reading. Furthermore, there are many detailed (...) explanations of the important mathematical procedures actually used by famous mathematicians, giving more mathematically talented students a greater opportunity to learn the history and philosophy by way of problem solving. Several important philosophical topics are pursued throughout the text, giving the student an opportunity to come to a full and consistent knowledge of their development. These topics include infinity, the nature of motion, and Platonism. This book offers, in fewer pages, a deep penetration into the key mathematical and philosophical aspects of the history 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.
The book is a collection of the author’s selected works in the philosophy and history of logic and mathematics. Papers in Part I include both general surveys of contemporary philosophy of mathematics as well as studies devoted to specialized topics, like Cantor's philosophy of set theory, the Church thesis and its epistemological status, the history of the philosophical background of the concept of number, the structuralist epistemology of mathematics and the phenomenological philosophy of (...)mathematics. Part II contains essays in the history of logic and mathematics. They address such issues as the philosophical background of the development of symbolism in mathematical logic, Giuseppe Peano and his role in the creation of contemporary logical symbolism, Emil L. Post's works in mathematical logic and recursion theory, the formalist school in the foundations of mathematics and the algebra of logic in England in the 19th century. The history of mathematics and logic in Poland is also considered.This volume is of interest to historians and philosophers of science and mathematics as well as to logicians and mathematicians interested in the philosophy and history of their fields. (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)
I offer an alternative account of the relationship of Hobbesian geometry to natural philosophy by arguing that mixed mathematics provided Hobbes with a model for thinking about it. In mixed mathematics, one may borrow causal principles from one science and use them in another science without there being a deductive relationship between those two sciences. Natural philosophy for Hobbes is mixed because an explanation may combine observations from experience (the ‘that’) with causal principles from geometry (the (...) ‘why’). My argument shows that Hobbesian natural philosophy relies upon suppositions that bodies plausibly behave according to these borrowed causal principles from geometry, acknowledging that bodies in the world may not actually behave this way. First, I consider Hobbes's relation to Aristotelian mixed mathematics and to Isaac Barrow's broadening of mixed mathematics in Mathematical Lectures (1683). I show that for Hobbes maker's knowledge from geometry provides the ‘why’ in mixed-mathematical explanations. Next, I examine two explanations from De corpore Part IV: (1) the explanation of sense in De corpore 25.1-2; and (2) the explanation of the swelling of parts of the body when they become warm in De corpore 27.3. In both explanations, I show Hobbes borrowing and citing geometrical principles and mixing these principles with appeals to experience. (shrink)
Challenging the myth that mathematical objects can be defined into existence, Bigelow here employs Armstrong's metaphysical materialism to cast new light on mathematics. He identifies natural, real, and imaginary numbers and sets with specified physical properties and relations and, by so doing, draws mathematics back from its sterile, abstract exile into the midst of the physical world.
I claim that a relatively new position in philosophy of mathematics, pluralism, overlaps in striking ways with the much older Jain doctrine of anekantavada and the associated doctrines of nyayavada and syadvada. I first outline the pluralist position, following this with a sketch of the Jain doctrine of anekantavada. I then note the srrong points of overlaps and the morals of this comparison of pluralism and anekantavada.
This essay offers a strategic reinterpretation of Kant’s philosophy of mathematics in Critique of Pure Reason via a broad, empirically based reconception of Kant’s conception of drawing. It begins with a general overview of Kant’s philosophy of mathematics, observing how he differentiates mathematics in the Critique from both the dynamical and the philosophical. Second, it examines how a recent wave of critical analyses of Kant’s constructivism takes up these issues, largely inspired by Hintikka’s unorthodox conception (...) of Kantian intuition. Third, it offers further analyses of three Kantian concepts vitally linked to that of drawing. It concludes with an etymologically based exploration of the seven clusters of meanings of the word drawing to gesture toward new possibilities for interpreting a Kantian philosophy of mathematics. (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 these two objections. Two fundamental themes of Wittgenstein's account of mathematics title the following two sections: mathematical propositions are rules and not descriptions 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 too suggest some similarities. As will become soon 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)
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)
This is the first volume of the Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science held in London in 1965, and contains revised versions of the nine papers presented in the Philosophy of Mathematics Section, together with comments by participants in the discussions, and replies. (The papers on Inductive Logic and Philosophy of Science will be published in two separate volumes.) In a short review it is not possible to give much more than an (...) outline of the contents. (shrink)
This article describes .a course in the philosophy of mathematics that compares various metaphysical and epistemological theories of mathematics with portions of the history of the development of mathematics, in particular, the history of calculus.
It is argued that the philosophical and epistemological beliefs about the nature of mathematics have a significant influence on the way mathematics is taught at school. In this paper, the philosophy of mathematics of the NCTM's Standards is investigated by examining is explicit assumptions regarding the teaching and learning of school mathematics. The main conceptual tool used for this purpose is the model of two dichotomous philosophies of mathematics-absolutist versus- fallibilist and their relation to (...)mathematics pedagogy. The main conclusion is that a fallibilist view of mathematics is assumed in the Standards and that most of its pedagogical assumptions and approaches are based on this philosophy. (shrink)
Moritz Pasch (1843ber neuere Geometrie (1882), in which he also clearly formulated the view that deductions must be independent from the meanings of the nonlogical terms involved. Pasch also presented in these lectures the main tenets of his philosophy of mathematics, which he continued to elaborate on throughout the rest of his life. This philosophy is quite unique in combining a deductivist methodology with a radically empiricist epistemology for mathematics. By taking into consideration publications from the (...) entire span of Paschs highly original, but virtually unknown, philosophy of mathematics is presented. (shrink)
This article surveys recent literature by Parsons, McGee, Shapiro and others on the significance of categoricity arguments in the philosophy of mathematics. After discussing whether categoricity arguments are sufficient to secure reference to mathematical structures up to isomorphism, we assess what exactly is achieved by recent ‘internal’ renditions of the famous categoricity arguments for arithmetic and set theory.
A survey of Euclid's Elements, this text provides an understanding of the classical Greek conception of mathematics and its similarities to modern views as well as its differences. It focuses on philosophical, foundational, and logical questions — rather than strictly historical and mathematical issues — and features several helpful appendixes.
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)
Mathematics is one of the most successful human endeavors—a paradigm of precision and objectivity. It is also one of our most puzzling endeavors, as it seems to deliver non-experiential knowledge of a non-physical reality consisting of numbers, sets, and functions. How can the success and objectivity of mathematics be reconciled with its puzzling features, which seem to set it apart from all the usual empirical sciences? This book offers a short but systematic introduction to the philosophy of (...)mathematics. Readers are introduced to all of the classical approaches to the field, including logicism, formalism, intuitionism, empiricism, and structuralism. The book also contains accessible introductions to some more specialized issues, such as mathematical intuition, potential infinity, the iterative conception of sets, and the search for new mathematical axioms. The exposition is always closely informed by ongoing research in the field and sometimes draws on the author’s own contributions to this research. This means that Gottlob Frege—a German mathematician and philosopher widely recognized as one of the founders of analytic philosophy—figures prominently in the book, both through his own views and his criticism of other thinkers. (shrink)
Abstract In the new millennium there have been important empirical developments in the philosophy of mathematics. One of these is the so-called “Empirical Philosophy of Mathematics”(EPM) of Buldt, Löwe, Müller and Müller-Hill, which aims to complement the methodology of the philosophy of mathematics with empirical work. Among other things, this includes surveys of mathematicians, which EPM believes to give philosophically important results. In this paper I take a critical look at the sociological part of (...) EPM as a case study of ... (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 paper is a contribution to the question of how aspects of science have been perceived through history. In particular, I will discuss how the contribution of axiomatics to the development of science and mathematics was viewed in 20th century philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics. It will turn out that in connection with scientiﬁc methodology, in particular regarding its use in the context of discovery, axiomatics has received only very little attention. This is a (...) rather surprising result, since axiomatizations have been employed extensively in mathematics, science, and also by the philosophers themselves. (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)
This lucid and comprehensive essay by a distinguished philosopher surveys the views of Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, and Kant on the nature of mathematics. It examines the propositions and theories of the schools these philosophers inspired, and it concludes by discussing the relationship between mathematical theories, empirical data, and philosophical presuppositions. 1968 edition.
This article canvasses five senses in which one might introduce an historical element into the philosophy of mathematics: 1. The temporal dimension of logic; 2. Explanatory Appeal to Context rather than to General Principles; 3. Heraclitean Flux; 4. All history is the History of Thought; and 5. History is Non-Judgmental. It concludes by adapting Bernard Williams’ distinction between ‘history of philosophy’ and ‘history of ideas’ to argue that the philosophy of mathematics is unavoidably historical, but (...) need not and must not merge with historiography. (shrink)