The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice

Author: Paolo Mancosu
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0199296456
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book gives a coherent and unified presentation of a new direction of work in philosophy of mathematics. This new approach in philosophy of mathematics requires extensive attention to mathematical practice and provides philosophical analyses of important novel characteristics of contemporary (twentieth century) mathematics and of many aspects of mathematical activity-such as visualization, explanation, understanding etc.-- which escape purely formal logicaltreatment.The book consists of a lengthy introduction by the editor and of eight chapters written by some of the very best scholars in this area. Each chapter consists of a short introduction to the general topic of the chapter and of a longer research article in the very same area. Theeight topics selected represent a broad spectrum of the contemporary philosophical reflection on different aspects of mathematical practice: Diagrammatic reasoning and representational systems; Visualization; Mathematical Explanation; Purity of Methods; Mathematical Concepts; Philosophical relevance of category theory; Philosophical aspects of computer science in mathematics; Philosophical impact of recent developments in mathematical physics.

The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice

Author: Paolo Mancosu
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191559099
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Contemporary philosophy of mathematics offers us an embarrassment of riches. Among the major areas of work one could list developments of the classical foundational programs, analytic approaches to epistemology and ontology of mathematics, and developments at the intersection of history and philosophy of mathematics. But anyone familiar with contemporary philosophy of mathematics will be aware of the need for new approaches that pay closer attention to mathematical practice. This book is the first attempt to give a coherent and unified presentation of this new wave of work in philosophy of mathematics. The new approach is innovative at least in two ways. First, it holds that there are important novel characteristics of contemporary mathematics that are just as worthy of philosophical attention as the distinction between constructive and non-constructive mathematics at the time of the foundational debates. Secondly, it holds that many topics which escape purely formal logical treatment - such as visualization, explanation, and understanding - can nonetheless be subjected to philosophical analysis. The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice comprises an introduction by the editor and eight chapters written by some of the leading scholars in the field. Each chapter consists of short introduction to the general topic of the chapter followed by a longer research article in the area. The eight topics selected represent a broad spectrum of contemporary philosophical reflection on different aspects of mathematical practice: diagrammatic reasoning and representation systems; visualization; mathematical explanation; purity of methods; mathematical concepts; the philosophical relevance of category theory; philosophical aspects of computer science in mathematics; the philosophical impact of recent developments in mathematical physics.

Philosophy of Mathematics and Mathematical Practice in the Seventeenth Century

Author: Paolo Mancosu
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195132440
Format: PDF
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The seventeenth century saw dramatic advances in mathematical theory and practice than any era before or since. With the recovery of many of the classical Greek mathematical texts, new techniques were introduced, and within 100 years, analytic geometry, the geometry of indivisibles, the arithmetic of infinites, and the calculus had been developed. Although many technical studies have been devoted to these innovations, Paolo Mancosu provides the first comprehensive account of the relationship between mathematical advances of the seventeenth century and the philosophy of mathematics of the period. Beginning with the Renaissance debates on the certainty of mathematics, Mancosu leads the reader through the foundational issues raised by the emergence of these new mathematical techniques, including the influence of the Aristotelian conception of science in Cavalieri and Guldin, the foundational relevance of Descartes' Geometrie, the relationship between empiricist epistemology and infinitistic theorems in geometry, and the debates concerning the foundations of the Leibnizian calculus In the process Mancosu draws a sophisticated picture of the subtle dependencies between technical development and philosophical reflection in seventeenth century mathematics.

Making and Breaking Mathematical Sense

Author: Roi Wagner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883784
Format: PDF
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In line with the emerging field of philosophy of mathematical practice, this book pushes the philosophy of mathematics away from questions about the reality and truth of mathematical entities and statements and toward a focus on what mathematicians actually do—and how that evolves and changes over time. How do new mathematical entities come to be? What internal, natural, cognitive, and social constraints shape mathematical cultures? How do mathematical signs form and reform their meanings? How can we model the cognitive processes at play in mathematical evolution? And how does mathematics tie together ideas, reality, and applications? Roi Wagner uniquely combines philosophical, historical, and cognitive studies to paint a fully rounded image of mathematics not as an absolute ideal but as a human endeavor that takes shape in specific social and institutional contexts. The book builds on ancient, medieval, and modern case studies to confront philosophical reconstructions and cutting-edge cognitive theories. It focuses on the contingent semiotic and interpretive dimensions of mathematical practice, rather than on mathematics' claim to universal or fundamental truths, in order to explore not only what mathematics is, but also what it could be. Along the way, Wagner challenges conventional views that mathematical signs represent fixed, ideal entities; that mathematical cognition is a rigid transfer of inferences between formal domains; and that mathematics’ exceptional consensus is due to the subject’s underlying reality. The result is a revisionist account of mathematical philosophy that will interest mathematicians, philosophers, and historians of science alike.

Metaphysical Myths Mathematical Practice

Author: Jody Azzouni
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521442237
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Jody Azzouni argues in this original and exciting study that mathematical knowledge really is a special kind of knowledge with its own special means of gathering evidence. He analyzes the linguistic pitfalls and misperceptions philosophers in this field are often prone to, and explores the misapplications of epistemic principles from the empirical sciences to the exact sciences. What emerges is a picture of mathematics both sensitive to mathematical practice, and to the ontological and epistemological issues that concern philosophers.

Mathematical Knowledge and the Interplay of Practices

Author: José Ferreirós
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874009
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book presents a new approach to the epistemology of mathematics by viewing mathematics as a human activity whose knowledge is intimately linked with practice. Charting an exciting new direction in the philosophy of mathematics, José Ferreirós uses the crucial idea of a continuum to provide an account of the development of mathematical knowledge that reflects the actual experience of doing math and makes sense of the perceived objectivity of mathematical results. Describing a historically oriented, agent-based philosophy of mathematics, Ferreirós shows how the mathematical tradition evolved from Euclidean geometry to the real numbers and set-theoretic structures. He argues for the need to take into account a whole web of mathematical and other practices that are learned and linked by agents, and whose interplay acts as a constraint. Ferreirós demonstrates how advanced mathematics, far from being a priori, is based on hypotheses, in contrast to elementary math, which has strong cognitive and practical roots and therefore enjoys certainty. Offering a wealth of philosophical and historical insights, Mathematical Knowledge and the Interplay of Practices challenges us to rethink some of our most basic assumptions about mathematics, its objectivity, and its relationship to culture and science.

The Argument of Mathematics

Author: Andrew Aberdein
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9400765347
Format: PDF, ePub
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Written by experts in the field, this volume presents a comprehensive investigation into the relationship between argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematical practice. Argumentation theory studies reasoning and argument, and especially those aspects not addressed, or not addressed well, by formal deduction. The philosophy of mathematical practice diverges from mainstream philosophy of mathematics in the emphasis it places on what the majority of working mathematicians actually do, rather than on mathematical foundations. The book begins by first challenging the assumption that there is no role for informal logic in mathematics. Next, it details the usefulness of argumentation theory in the understanding of mathematical practice, offering an impressively diverse set of examples, covering the history of mathematics, mathematics education and, perhaps surprisingly, formal proof verification. From there, the book demonstrates that mathematics also offers a valuable testbed for argumentation theory. Coverage concludes by defending attention to mathematical argumentation as the basis for new perspectives on the philosophy of mathematics. ​