About this topic
Summary

Philosophy of mathematical practice is a branch of philosophy of mathematics starting with the assumption that mathematics is not only a body of eternal truths, but also a human activity with its specific dynamics of change and history.  By observing a wide range of mathematical practices, including advanced practices, questions beyond foundations and access to abstract objects arise. Examples of such questions are: Why do mathematicians reprove a theorem which already has an accepted proof?  When is a proof explanatory? What is mathematical understanding? What are the epistemic roles of diagrams and visualization in mathematics?  How did certain mathematical concepts evolve over time? These questions tend to admit localized answers, specific to certain contexts, rather than applying for all mathematics. In recent years, researchers have been accumulating detailed case studies to answer them.  Moreover, interdisciplinary endeavours have been pursued, bringing together not only philosophers and historians, but also cognitive scientists, sociologist, anthropologists, mathematics education researchers, and computer scientists.

Key works

The collection Mancosu 2008 contains an important sample of articles on the philosophy of mathematical practice.  For a more interdisciplinary collection, in which issues in sociology of mathematics and mathematical education are also included, see Van Bendegem & van Kerkhove 2007. Book length studies are Corfield 2003, Ferreirós 2015, and Wagner 2017.

Introductions

The introduction of Mancosu 2008 is very informative and clarifies the position of philosophy of mathematical practice in the landscape of philosophy of mathematics. For general descriptions of different approaches on mathematical practice, see Van Bendegem 2014. A recent survey article is Carter 2019.

Related categories

329 found
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1 — 50 / 329
  1. A general framework for a Second Philosophy analysis of set-theoretic methodology.Carolin Antos & Deborah Kant - manuscript
    Penelope Maddy’s Second Philosophy is one of the most well-known ap- proaches in recent philosophy of mathematics. She applies her second-philosophical method to analyze mathematical methodology by reconstructing historical cases in a setting of means-ends relations. However, outside of Maddy’s own work, this kind of methodological analysis has not yet been extensively used and analyzed. In the present work, we will make a first step in this direction. We develop a general framework that allows us to clarify the procedure and (...)
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  2. Mathematicians against the myth of genius: beyond the envy interpretation.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    This paper examines Timothy Gowers’ attempt to counter a mythology of genius in mathematics: that to be a mathematician one has to be a mathematical genius. Someone might take such attacks on the myth of genius as expressions of envy, but I propose that there is another reason for cautioning against placing a high value on genius, by turning to research in the humanities.
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  3. John W. Dawson, Jr. Why Prove it Again: Alternative Proofs in Mathematical Practice. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2015. ISBN: 978-3-319-17367-2 ; 978-3-319-17368-9 . Pp. xii + 204. [REVIEW]Jessica Carter - forthcoming - Philosophia Mathematica:nkw003.
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  4. Who’s afraid of mathematical diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Mathematical diagrams are frequently used in contemporary mathematics. They are, however, widely seen as not contributing to the justificatory force of proofs: they are considered to be either mere illustrations or shorthand for non-diagrammatic expressions. Moreover, when they are used inferentially, they are seen as threatening the reliability of proofs. In this paper, I examine certain examples of diagrams that resist this type of dismissive characterization. By presenting two diagrammatic proofs, one from topology and one from algebra, I show that (...)
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  5. Group Knowledge and Mathematical Collaboration: A Philosophical Examination of the Classification of Finite Simple Groups.Joshua Habgood-Coote & Fenner Stanley Tanswell - forthcoming - Episteme.
    In this paper we apply social epistemology to mathematical proofs and their role in mathematical knowledge. The most famous modern collaborative mathematical proof effort is the Classification of Finite Simple Groups. The history and sociology of this proof have been well-documented by Alma Steingart (2012), who highlights a number of surprising and unusual features of this collaborative endeavour that set it apart from smaller-scale pieces of mathematics. These features raise a number of interesting philosophical issues, but have received very little (...)
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  6. Szemerédi’s theorem: An exploration of impurity, explanation, and content.Patrick J. Ryan - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-40.
    In this paper I argue for an association between impurity and explanatory power in contemporary mathematics. This proposal is defended against the ancient and influential idea that purity and explanation go hand-in-hand (Aristotle, Bolzano) and recent suggestions that purity/impurity ascriptions and explanatory power are more or less distinct (Section 1). This is done by analyzing a central and deep result of additive number theory, Szemerédi’s theorem, and various of its proofs (Section 2). In particular, I focus upon the radically impure (...)
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  7. Mathematical Progress — On Maddy and Beyond.Simon Weisgerber - forthcoming - Philosophia Mathematica.
    A key question of the ‘maverick’ tradition of the philosophy of mathematical practice is addressed, namely what is mathematical progress. The investigation is based on an article by Penelope Maddy devoted to this topic in which she considers only contributions ‘of some mathematical importance’ as progress. With the help of a case study from contemporary mathematics, more precisely from tropical geometry, a few issues with her proposal are identified. Taking these issues into consideration, an alternative account of ‘mathematical importance’, broadly (...)
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  8. Cultures of Mathematical Practice in Alexandria in Egypt: Claudius Ptolemy and His Commentators (Second–Fourth Century CE).Alberto Bardi - 2023 - In Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.
    Claudius Ptolemy’s mathematical astronomy originated in Alexandria in Egypt under Roman rule in the second century CE and held for more than a millennium, even beyond the Copernican theories (sixteenth century). To trace the flourishing of such mathematical creativity requires an understanding of Ptolemy’s philosophy of mathematical practice, the ancient commentators of Ptolemaic works, and the historical context of Alexandria in Egypt, a multicultural city which became a cradle of cultures of mathematical practices and blossomed into the Ptolemaic system and (...)
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  9. Idéaux de preuve : explication et pureté.Andrew Arana - 2022 - In Andrew Arana & Marco Panza (eds.), Précis de philosophie de la logique et des mathématiques. Volume 2, philosophie des mathématiques. Paris, France: pp. 387-425.
    Why do mathematics often give several proofs of the same theorem? This is the question raised in this article, introducing the notion of an epistemic ideal and discussing two such ideals, the explanatoriness and purity of proof.
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  10. Naive cubical type theory.Bruno Bentzen - 2022 - Mathematical Structures in Computer Science:1-27.
    This article proposes a way of doing type theory informally, assuming a cubical style of reasoning. It can thus be viewed as a first step toward a cubical alternative to the program of informalization of type theory carried out in the homotopy type theory book for dependent type theory augmented with axioms for univalence and higher inductive types. We adopt a cartesian cubical type theory proposed by Angiuli, Brunerie, Coquand, Favonia, Harper, and Licata as the implicit foundation, confining our presentation (...)
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  11. What is Mathematical Rigor?John Burgess & Silvia De Toffoli - 2022 - Aphex 25:1-17.
    Rigorous proof is supposed to guarantee that the premises invoked imply the conclusion reached, and the problem of rigor may be described as that of bringing together the perspectives of formal logic and mathematical practice on how this is to be achieved. This problem has recently raised a lot of discussion among philosophers of mathematics. We survey some possible solutions and argue that failure to understand its terms properly has led to misunderstandings in the literature.
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  12. Unrealistic Models in Mathematics.William D'Alessandro - 2022 - Philosophers’ Imprint.
    Models are indispensable tools of scientific inquiry, and one of their main uses is to improve our understanding of the phenomena they represent. How do models accomplish this? And what does this tell us about the nature of understanding? While much recent work has aimed at answering these questions, philosophers' focus has been squarely on models in empirical science. I aim to show that pure mathematics also deserves a seat at the table. I begin by presenting two cases: Cramér’s random (...)
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  13. What are mathematical diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    Although traditionally neglected, mathematical diagrams have recently begun to attract attention from philosophers of mathematics. By now, the literature includes several case studies investigating the role of diagrams both in discovery and justification. Certain preliminary questions have, however, been mostly bypassed. What are diagrams exactly? Are there different types of diagrams? In the scholarly literature, the term “mathematical diagram” is used in diverse ways. I propose a working definition that carves out the phenomena that are of most importance for a (...)
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  14. A Hippocratic Oath for mathematicians? Mapping the landscape of ethics in mathematics.Dennis Müller, Maurice Chiodo & James Franklin - 2022 - Science and Engineering Ethics 28 (5):1-30.
    While the consequences of mathematically-based software, algorithms and strategies have become ever wider and better appreciated, ethical reflection on mathematics has remained primitive. We review the somewhat disconnected suggestions of commentators in recent decades with a view to piecing together a coherent approach to ethics in mathematics. Calls for a Hippocratic Oath for mathematicians are examined and it is concluded that while lessons can be learned from the medical profession, the relation of mathematicians to those affected by their work is (...)
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  15. Tables as powerful representational tools.Dirk Schlimm - 2022 - In Valeria Giardino, S. Linker, Richard Burns, Francesco Bellucci, Jean-Michel Boucheix & Petrucio Viana (eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference. 13th International Conference, Diagrams 2022, Rome, Italy, September 14–16, 2022, Proceedings. Springer. pp. 185-201.
    Tables are widely used for storing, retrieving, communicating, and processing information, but in the literature on the study of representations they are still somewhat neglected. The strong structural constraints on tables allow for a clear identification of their characteristic features and the roles these play in the use of tables as representational and cognitive tools. After introducing syntactic, spatial, and semantic features of tables, we give an account of how these affect our perception and cognition on the basis of fundamental (...)
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  16. Visual Proofs as Counterexamples to the Standard View of Informal Mathematical Proofs?Simon Weisgerber - 2022 - In Giardino V., Linker S., Burns R., Bellucci F., Boucheix Jm & Viana P. (eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference. Diagrams 2022. Springer, Cham. pp. 37-53.
    A passage from Jody Azzouni’s article “The Algorithmic-Device View of Informal Rigorous Mathematical Proof” in which he argues against Hamami and Avigad’s standard view of informal mathematical proof with the help of a specific visual proof of 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16+⋯=1 is critically examined. By reference to mathematicians’ judgments about visual proofs in general, it is argued that Azzouni’s critique of Hamami and Avigad’s account is not valid. Nevertheless, by identifying a necessary condition for the visual proof to be considered a proper proof (...)
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  17. Virtue theory of mathematical practices: an introduction.Andrew Aberdein, Colin Jakob Rittberg & Fenner Stanley Tanswell - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10167-10180.
    Until recently, discussion of virtues in the philosophy of mathematics has been fleeting and fragmentary at best. But in the last few years this has begun to change. As virtue theory has grown ever more influential, not just in ethics where virtues may seem most at home, but particularly in epistemology and the philosophy of science, some philosophers have sought to push virtues out into unexpected areas, including mathematics and its philosophy. But there are some mathematicians already there, ready to (...)
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  18. Bolzano’s Mathematical Infinite.Anna Bellomo & Guillaume Massas - 2021 - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-55.
    Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848) is commonly thought to have attempted to develop a theory of size for infinite collections that follows the so-called part–whole principle, according to which the whole is always greater than any of its proper parts. In this paper, we develop a novel interpretation of Bolzano’s mature theory of the infinite and show that, contrary to mainstream interpretations, it is best understood as a theory of infinite sums. Our formal results show that Bolzano’s infinite sums can be equipped (...)
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  19. How to Frame Understanding in Mathematics: A Case Study Using Extremal Proofs.Merlin Carl, Marcos Cramer, Bernhard Fisseni, Deniz Sarikaya & Bernhard Schröder - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (5):649-676.
    The frame concept from linguistics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence is a theoretical tool to model how explicitly given information is combined with expectations deriving from background knowledge. In this paper, we show how the frame concept can be fruitfully applied to analyze the notion of mathematical understanding. Our analysis additionally integrates insights from the hermeneutic tradition of philosophy as well as Schmid’s ideal genetic model of narrative constitution. We illustrate the practical applicability of our theoretical analysis through a case (...)
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  20. Groundwork for a Fallibilist Account of Mathematics.Silvia De Toffoli - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 7 (4):823-844.
    According to the received view, genuine mathematical justification derives from proofs. In this article, I challenge this view. First, I sketch a notion of proof that cannot be reduced to deduction from the axioms but rather is tailored to human agents. Secondly, I identify a tension between the received view and mathematical practice. In some cases, cognitively diligent, well-functioning mathematicians go wrong. In these cases, it is plausible to think that proof sets the bar for justification too high. I then (...)
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  21. Reconciling Rigor and Intuition.Silvia De Toffoli - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1783-1802.
    Criteria of acceptability for mathematical proofs are field-dependent. In topology, though not in most other domains, it is sometimes acceptable to appeal to visual intuition to support inferential steps. In previous work :829–842, 2014; Lolli, Panza, Venturi From logic to practice, Springer, Berlin, 2015; Larvor Mathematical cultures, Springer, Berlin, 2016) my co-author and I aimed at spelling out how topological proofs work on their own terms, without appealing to formal proofs which might be associated with them. In this article, I (...)
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  22. Giving the Value of a Variable.Richard Lawrence - 2021 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):135-150.
    What does it mean to ‘give’ the value of a variable in an algebraic context, and how does giving the value of a variable differ from merely describing it? I argue that to answer this question, we need to examine the role that giving the value of a variable plays in problem-solving practice. I argue that four different features are required for a statement to count as giving the value of a variable in the context of solving an elementary algebra (...)
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  23. Peano on Symbolization, Design Principles for Notations, and the Dot Notation.Dirk Schlimm - 2021 - Philosophia Scientiae 25:95-126.
    Peano was one of the driving forces behind the development of the current mathematical formalism. In this paper, we study his particular approach to notational design and present some original features of his notations. To explain the motivations underlying Peano's approach, we first present his view of logic as a method of analysis and his desire for a rigorous and concise symbolism to represent mathematical ideas. On the basis of both his practice and his explicit reflections on notations, we discuss (...)
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  24. Babbage's guidelines for the design of mathematical notations.Dirk Schlimm & Jonah Dutz - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 1 (88):92–101.
    The design of good notation is a cause that was dear to Charles Babbage's heart throughout his career. He was convinced of the "immense power of signs" (1864, 364), both to rigorously express complex ideas and to facilitate the discovery of new ones. As a young man, he promoted the Leibnizian notation for the calculus in England, and later he developed a Mechanical Notation for designing his computational engines. In addition, he reflected on the principles that underlie the design of (...)
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  25. Reverse Mathematics.John Stillwell - 2021 - In Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Cham: Springer.
    Reverse mathematics is a new take on an old idea: asking which axioms are necessary to prove a given theorem. This question was first asked about the parallel axiom in Euclid’s geometry and later about the axiom of choice in set theory. Obviously, such questions can be asked in many fields of mathematics, but in recent decades, it has proved fruitful to focus on subsystems of second-order arithmetic, where much of mainstream mathematics resides. It has been found that many basic (...)
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  26. Permanence as a Principle of Practice.Iulian D. Toader - 2021 - Historia Mathematica 54:77-94.
    The paper discusses Peano's defense and application of permanence as a principle of practice, and Hahn's further point that, even if it were a principle of logic, permanence would not eliminate all logical ambiguity. Dedicated to the memory of Mic Detlefsen.
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  27. Review Of Joseph C. Pitt, Heraclitus Redux: Technological Infrastructures and Scientific Change. [REVIEW]Andrew Aberdein - 2020 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (7):18–22.
  28. Acceptable gaps in mathematical proofs.Line Edslev Andersen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):233-247.
    Mathematicians often intentionally leave gaps in their proofs. Based on interviews with mathematicians about their refereeing practices, this paper examines the character of intentional gaps in published proofs. We observe that mathematicians’ refereeing practices limit the number of certain intentional gaps in published proofs. The results provide some new perspectives on the traditional philosophical questions of the nature of proof and of what grounds mathematical knowledge.
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  29. Reliability of mathematical inference.Jeremy Avigad - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7377-7399.
    Of all the demands that mathematics imposes on its practitioners, one of the most fundamental is that proofs ought to be correct. It has been common since the turn of the twentieth century to take correctness to be underwritten by the existence of formal derivations in a suitable axiomatic foundation, but then it is hard to see how this normative standard can be met, given the differences between informal proofs and formal derivations, and given the inherent fragility and complexity of (...)
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  30. Modularity in mathematics.Jeremy Avigad - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic 13 (1):47-79.
    In a wide range of fields, the word “modular” is used to describe complex systems that can be decomposed into smaller systems with limited interactions between them. This essay argues that mathematical knowledge can fruitfully be understood as having a modular structure and explores the ways in which modularity in mathematics is epistemically advantageous.
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  31. Proving Quadratic Reciprocity: Explanation, Disagreement, Transparency and Depth.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Synthese (9):1-44.
    Gauss’s quadratic reciprocity theorem is among the most important results in the history of number theory. It’s also among the most mysterious: since its discovery in the late 18th century, mathematicians have regarded reciprocity as a deeply surprising fact in need of explanation. Intriguingly, though, there’s little agreement on how the theorem is best explained. Two quite different kinds of proof are most often praised as explanatory: an elementary argument that gives the theorem an intuitive geometric interpretation, due to Gauss (...)
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  32. Viewing-as explanations and ontic dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.
    According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science, all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper defends this claim (...)
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  33. Structuralism and Mathematical Practice in Felix Klein’s Work on Non-Euclidean Geometry†.Biagioli Francesca - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (3):360-384.
    It is well known that Felix Klein took a decisive step in investigating the invariants of transformation groups. However, less attention has been given to Klein’s considerations on the epistemological implications of his work on geometry. This paper proposes an interpretation of Klein’s view as a form of mathematical structuralism, according to which the study of mathematical structures provides the basis for a better understanding of how mathematical research and practice develop.
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  34. Plans and planning in mathematical proofs.Yacin Hamami & Rebecca Morris - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic 14 (4):1030-1065.
    In practice, mathematical proofs are most often the result of careful planning by the agents who produced them. As a consequence, each mathematical proof inherits a plan in virtue of the way it is produced, a plan which underlies its “architecture” or “unity”. This paper provides an account of plans and planning in the context of mathematical proofs. The approach adopted here consists in looking for these notions not in mathematical proofs themselves, but in the agents who produced them. The (...)
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  35. Philosophy of mathematical practice: A primer for mathematics educators.Yacin Hamami & Rebecca Morris - 2020 - ZDM Mathematics Education 52:1113–1126.
    In recent years, philosophical work directly concerned with the practice of mathematics has intensified, giving rise to a movement known as the philosophy of mathematical practice . In this paper we offer a survey of this movement aimed at mathematics educators. We first describe the core questions philosophers of mathematical practice investigate as well as the philosophical methods they use to tackle them. We then provide a selective overview of work in the philosophy of mathematical practice covering topics including the (...)
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  36. Cognitive processing of spatial relations in Euclidean diagrams.Yacin Hamami, Milan N. A. van der Kuil, Ineke J. M. van der Ham & John Mumma - 2020 - Acta Psychologica 205:1--10.
    The cognitive processing of spatial relations in Euclidean diagrams is central to the diagram-based geometric practice of Euclid's Elements. In this study, we investigate this processing through two dichotomies among spatial relations—metric vs topological and exact vs co-exact—introduced by Manders in his seminal epistemological analysis of Euclid's geometric practice. To this end, we carried out a two-part experiment where participants were asked to judge spatial relations in Euclidean diagrams in a visual half field task design. In the first part, we (...)
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  37. Are Aesthetic Judgements Purely Aesthetic? Testing the Social Conformity Account.Matthew Inglis & Andrew Aberdein - 2020 - ZDM 52 (6):1127-1136.
    Many of the methods commonly used to research mathematical practice, such as analyses of historical episodes or individual cases, are particularly well-suited to generating causal hypotheses, but less well-suited to testing causal hypotheses. In this paper we reflect on the contribution that the so-called hypothetico-deductive method, with a particular focus on experimental studies, can make to our understanding of mathematical practice. By way of illustration, we report an experiment that investigated how mathematicians attribute aesthetic properties to mathematical proofs. We demonstrate (...)
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  38. Mathematizing as a virtuous practice: different narratives and their consequences for mathematics education and society.Deborah Kant & Deniz Sarikaya - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3405-3429.
    There are different narratives on mathematics as part of our world, some of which are more appropriate than others. Such narratives might be of the form ‘Mathematics is useful’, ‘Mathematics is beautiful’, or ‘Mathematicians aim at theorem-credit’. These narratives play a crucial role in mathematics education and in society as they are influencing people’s willingness to engage with the subject or the way they interpret mathematical results in relation to real-world questions; the latter yielding important normative considerations. Our strategy is (...)
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  39. Investigations linking the philosophy and psychology of mathematics.James Keller - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Recent progress in the field of cognitive science, specifically with respect to mathematical cognition, along with the turn in the philosophy of mathematics to a focus on mathematical practice, make for a great opportunity for interdisciplinary work that brings together the cognitive science of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics. This dissertation seeks to add to recent examples of such interdisciplinary work. I discuss three somewhat self-contained topics. In chapter two, I discuss some recent work in cognitive science on the topic (...)
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  40. Proof, Explanation, and Justification in Mathematical Practice.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4):551-568.
    In this paper, I propose that applying the methods of data science to “the problem of whether mathematical explanations occur within mathematics itself” (Mancosu 2018) might be a fruitful way to shed new light on the problem. By carefully selecting indicator words for explanation and justification, and then systematically searching for these indicators in databases of scholarly works in mathematics, we can get an idea of how mathematicians use these terms in mathematical practice and with what frequency. The results of (...)
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  41. Intellectual generosity and the reward structure of mathematics.Rebecca Lea Morris - 2020 - Synthese (1-2):1-23.
    Prominent mathematician William Thurston was praised by other mathematicians for his intellectual generosity. But what does it mean to say Thurston was intellectually generous? And is being intellectually generous beneficial? To answer these questions I turn to virtue epistemology and, in particular, Roberts and Wood's (2007) analysis of intellectual generosity. By appealing to Thurston's own writings and interviewing mathematicians who knew and worked with him, I argue that Roberts and Wood's analysis nicely captures the sense in which he was intellectually (...)
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  42. Motivated proofs: What they are, why they matter and how to write them.Rebecca Lea Morris - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic 13 (1):23-46.
    Mathematicians judge proofs to possess, or lack, a variety of different qualities, including, for example, explanatory power, depth, purity, beauty and fit. Philosophers of mathematical practice have begun to investigate the nature of such qualities. However, mathematicians frequently draw attention to another desirable proof quality: being motivated. Intuitively, motivated proofs contain no "puzzling" steps, but they have received little further analysis. In this paper, I begin a philosophical investigation into motivated proofs. I suggest that a proof is motivated if and (...)
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  43. Formal Semantics and Applied Mathematics: An Inferential Account.Ryan M. Nefdt - 2020 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 29 (2):221-253.
    In this paper, I utilise the growing literature on scientific modelling to investigate the nature of formal semantics from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Specifically, I incorporate the inferential framework proposed by Bueno and Colyvan : 345–374, 2011) in the philosophy of applied mathematics to offer an account of how formal semantics explains and models its data. This view produces a picture of formal semantic models as involving an embedded process of inference and representation applying indirectly to linguistic (...)
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  44. Mathematical cognition and enculturation: introduction to the Synthese special issue.Markus Pantsar - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3647-3655.
  45. Using Crowdsourced Mathematics to Understand Mathematical Practice.Alison Pease, Ursula Martin, Fenner Stanley Tanswell & Andrew Aberdein - 2020 - ZDM 52 (6):1087-1098.
    Records of online collaborative mathematical activity provide us with a novel, rich, searchable, accessible and sizeable source of data for empirical investigations into mathematical practice. In this paper we discuss how the resources of crowdsourced mathematics can be used to help formulate and answer questions about mathematical practice, and what their limitations might be. We describe quantitative approaches to studying crowdsourced mathematics, reviewing work from cognitive history (comparing individual and collaborative proofs); social psychology (on the prospects for a measure of (...)
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  46. Epistemic injustice in mathematics.Colin Jakob Rittberg, Fenner Stanley Tanswell & Jean Paul Van Bendegem - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3875-3904.
    We investigate how epistemic injustice can manifest itself in mathematical practices. We do this as both a social epistemological and virtue-theoretic investigation of mathematical practices. We delineate the concept both positively—we show that a certain type of folk theorem can be a source of epistemic injustice in mathematics—and negatively by exploring cases where the obstacles to participation in a mathematical practice do not amount to epistemic injustice. Having explored what epistemic injustice in mathematics can amount to, we use the concept (...)
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  47. Speech acts in mathematics.Marco Ruffino, Luca San Mauro & Giorgio Venturi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):10063-10087.
    We offer a novel picture of mathematical language from the perspective of speech act theory. There are distinct speech acts within mathematics, and, as we intend to show, distinct illocutionary force indicators as well. Even mathematics in its most formalized version cannot do without some such indicators. This goes against a certain orthodoxy both in contemporary philosophy of mathematics and in speech act theory. As we will comment, the recognition of distinct illocutionary acts within logic and mathematics and the incorporation (...)
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  48. Pasch's empiricism as methodological structuralism.Dirk Schlimm - 2020 - In Erich Reck & Georg Schiemer (eds.), The Pre-History of Mathematical Structuralism. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 80-105.
  49. Evidence, Proofs, and Derivations.Andrew Aberdein - 2019 - ZDM 51 (5):825-834.
    The traditional view of evidence in mathematics is that evidence is just proof and proof is just derivation. There are good reasons for thinking that this view should be rejected: it misrepresents both historical and current mathematical practice. Nonetheless, evidence, proof, and derivation are closely intertwined. This paper seeks to tease these concepts apart. It emphasizes the role of argumentation as a context shared by evidence, proofs, and derivations. The utility of argumentation theory, in general, and argumentation schemes, in particular, (...)
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  50. Mathematical Monsters.Andrew Aberdein - 2019 - In Diego Compagna & Stefanie Steinhart (eds.), Monsters, Monstrosities, and the Monstrous in Culture and Society. Wilmington, DE, USA: pp. 391-412.
    Monsters lurk within mathematical as well as literary haunts. I propose to trace some pathways between these two monstrous habitats. I start from Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s influential account of monster culture and explore how well mathematical monsters fit each of his seven theses. The mathematical monsters I discuss are drawn primarily from three distinct but overlapping domains. Firstly, late nineteenth-century mathematicians made numerous unsettling discoveries that threatened their understanding of their own discipline and challenged their intuitions. The great French mathematician (...)
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