This introduction to the philosophy of mathematics focuses on contemporary debates in an important and central area of philosophy. The reader is taken on a fascinating and entertaining journey through some intriguing mathematical and philosophical territory, including such topics as the realism/anti-realism debate in mathematics, mathematical explanation, the limits of mathematics, the significance of mathematical notation, inconsistent mathematics and the applications of mathematics. Each chapter has a number of discussion questions and recommended further reading from both the contemporary literature and older sources. Very little mathematical background is assumed and all of the mathematics encountered is clearly introduced and explained using a wide variety of examples. The book is suitable for an undergraduate course in philosophy of mathematics and, more widely, for anyone interested in philosophy and mathematics.
Author: Mark Colyvan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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.
Author: Paul Benacerraf,Hilary Putnam
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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.
Author: David Corfield
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction provides a critical analysis of the major philosophical issues and viewpoints in the concepts and methods of mathematics - from antiquity to the modern era. Offers beginning readers a critical appraisal of philosophical viewpoints throughout history Gives a separate chapter to predicativism, which is often (but wrongly) treated as if it were a part of logicism Provides readers with a non-partisan discussion until the final chapter, which gives the author?s personal opinion on where the truth lies Designed to be accessible to both undergraduates and graduate students, and at the same time to be of interest to professionals
Author: David Bostock
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
A comprehensive collection of historical readings in the philosophy of mathematics and a selection of influential contemporary work, this much-needed introduction reveals the rich history of the subject. An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics: A Reader brings together an impressive collection of primary sources from ancient and modern philosophy. Arranged chronologically and featuring introductory overviews explaining technical terms, this accessible reader is easy-to-follow and unrivaled in its historical scope. With selections from key thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume and Kant, it connects the major ideas of the ancients with contemporary thinkers. A selection of recent texts from philosophers including Quine, Putnam, Field and Maddy offering insights into the current state of the discipline clearly illustrates the development of the subject. Presenting historical background essential to understanding contemporary trends and a survey of recent work, An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics: A Reader is required reading for undergraduates and graduate students studying the philosophy of mathematics and an invaluable source book for working researchers.
Author: Russell Marcus,Mark McEvoy
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Michael Potter presents a comprehensive new philosophical introduction to set theory. Anyone wishing to work on the logical foundations of mathematics must understand set theory, which lies at its heart. Potter offers a thorough account of cardinal and ordinal arithmetic, and the various axiom candidates. He discusses in detail the project of set-theoretic reduction, which aims to interpret the rest of mathematics in terms of set theory. The key question here is how to deal with the paradoxes that bedevil set theory. Potter offers a strikingly simple version of the most widely accepted response to the paradoxes, which classifies sets by means of a hierarchy of levels. What makes the book unique is that it interweaves a careful presentation of the technical material with a penetrating philosophical critique. Potter does not merely expound the theory dogmatically but at every stage discusses in detail the reasons that can be offered for believing it to be true. Set Theory and its Philosophy is a key text for philosophy, mathematical logic, and computer science.
A Critical Introduction
Author: Michael Potter
Publisher: Clarendon Press
In this book, Balaguer demonstrates that there are no good arguments for or against mathematical platonism. He establishes that both platonism and anti-platonism are defensible views and introduces a form of platonism ("full-blooded platonism") that solves all problems traditionally associated with the view, proceeding to defend anti-platonism (in particular, mathematical fictionalism) against various attacks--most notably the Quine-Putnam indispensability attack.
Author: Mark Balaguer
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
What is mathematics about? And how can we have access to the reality it is supposed to describe? The book tells the story of this problem, first raised by Plato, through the views of Aristotle, Proclus, Kant, Frege, Gödel, Benacerraf, up to the most recent debate on mathematical platonism.
An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism
Author: M. Panza,A. Sereni
This book provides an accessible, critical introduction to the three main approaches that dominated work in the philosophy of mathematics during the twentieth century: logicism, intuitionism and formalism.
Author: Alexander L. George,Daniel Velleman
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.
Author: Paolo Mancosu
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Written for any readers interested in better harnessing philosophy’s real value, this book covers a broad range of fundamental philosophical problems and certain intellectual techniques for addressing those problems. In Introducing Philosophy: God, Mind, World, and Logic, Neil Tennant helps any student in pursuit of a ‘big picture’ to think independently, question received dogma, and analyse problems incisively. It also connects philosophy to other areas of study at the university, enabling all students to employ the concepts and techniques of this millennia-old discipline throughout their college careers – and beyond. KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS: -- Investigates the philosophy of various subjects (psychology, language, biology, math), helping students contextualize philosophy and view it as an interdisciplinary pursuit; also helps students with majors outside of philosophy to see the relationship between philosophy and their own focused academic pursuits -- Author comes from a distinguished background in Logic and Philosophy of Language, which gives the book a level of rigor, balance, and analytic focus sometimes missing from primers to philosophy -- Introduces students to various important philosophical distinctions (e.g. fact vs. value, descriptive vs. prescriptive, norms vs. laws of nature, analytic vs. synthetic, inductive vs. deductive, a priori vs. a posteriori) providing skills that are important for undergraduates to develop in order to inform their study at higher levels. They are essential for further work in philosophy but they are also very beneficial for students pursuing most other disciplines -- Is much more methodologically comprehensive than competing introductions, giving the student the ability to address a wide range of philosophical problems – and not just the ones reviewed in the book -- Offers a companion website with links to apt primary sources, organized chapter-by-chapter, making unnecessary a separate Reader/Anthology of primary sources – thus providing students with all reading material necessary for the course -- Provides five to ten discussion questions for each chapter, helping instructors and students better interact with the ideas and concepts in the text
God, Mind, World, and Logic
Author: Neil Tennant
Is the history of life a series of accidents or a drama scripted by selfish genes? Is there an "essential" human nature, determined at birth or in a distant evolutionary past? What should we conserve—species, ecosystems, or something else? Informed answers to questions like these, critical to our understanding of ourselves and the world around us, require both a knowledge of biology and a philosophical framework within which to make sense of its findings. In this accessible introduction to philosophy of biology, Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths present both the science and the philosophical context necessary for a critical understanding of the most exciting debates shaping biology today. The authors, both of whom have published extensively in this field, describe the range of competing views—including their own—on these fascinating topics. With its clear explanations of both biological and philosophical concepts, Sex and Death will appeal not only to undergraduates, but also to the many general readers eager to think critically about the science of life.
An Introduction to Philosophy of Biology
Author: Kim Sterelny,Paul E. Griffiths
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
What do scientists actually do? Is science "value-free"? How has science evolved through history? Where is science leading us? "Introducing Philosophy of Science" is a clear and incisively illustrated map of the big questions underpinning science. It is essential reading for students, the general public, and even scientists themselves.
A Graphic Guide
Author: Ziauddin Sardar
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
More Precisely provides a rigorous and engaging introduction to the mathematics necessary to do philosophy. It is impossible to fully understand much of the most important work in contemporary philosophy without a basic grasp of set theory, functions, probability, modality and infinity. Until now, this knowledge was difficult to acquire. Professors had to provide custom handouts to their classes, while students struggled through math texts searching for insight. More Precisely fills this key gap. Eric Steinhart provides lucid explanations of the basic mathematical concepts and sets out most commonly used notational conventions. Furthermore, he demonstrates how mathematics applies to many fundamental issues in branches of philosophy such as metaphysics, philosophy of language, epistemology, and ethics.
The Math You Need to Do Philosophy
Author: Eric Steinhart
Publisher: Broadview Press
Mathematics is a subject we are all exposed to in our daily lives, but one that many of us fear. Timothy Gowers’s entertaining overview of the topic explains the differences between what we learn at school and advanced mathematics, and helps the math phobic emerge with a clearer understanding of such paradoxical-sounding concepts as “infinity,” “curved space,” and “imaginary numbers.” From basic ideas to philosophical queries to common sociological questions about the mathematical community, this book unravels the mysteries of space and numbers.
Author: Timothy Gowers
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.