In this paper, I present and discuss critically the main elements of Mario Bunge’s philosophy of mathematics. In particular, I explore how mathematical knowledge is accounted for in Bunge’s systemic emergent materialism.
The debate about the foundations of mathematical sciences traces back to Greek antiquity, with Euclid and the foundations of geometry. Through the flux of history, the debate has appeared in several shapes, places, and cultural contexts. Remarkably, it is a locus where logic, philosophy, and mathematics meet. In mathematical astronomy, Nicolaus Copernicus’s axiomatic approach toward a heliocentric theory of the universe has prompted questions about foundations among historians who have studied Copernican axioms in their terminological and logical aspects but never (...) examined them as a question of mathematical practice. Copernicus provides seven unproved assumptions in the introduction of the brief treatise entitled Nicolaus Copernicus’s draft on the models of celestial motions established by himself, better known as Commentariolus (ca. 1515), published circa 30 years before the final composition of his heliocentric theory (On the revolutions of the heavenly spheres, 1543). The assumptions deal with the renowned Copernican hypothesis of considering the Earth in motion and the Sun, not affected by motion, near the center of the universe. Although Copernicus decides to omit the proofs for the sake of brevity, the deductions in the Commentariolus are supposed to be drawn from the initial seven assumptions. Questions on the nature (are they postulates or axioms?) and the logic (is there an internal rigor?) of those assumptions have yet to be fully explored. By examining Copernicus’s seven assumptions as a question of mathematical practice, it is possible to hold historical, philosophical, and logical aspects of Copernican axiomatics together and understand them as part of Copernicus’s intuition and creativity. (shrink)
J. S. Silverberg, The Most Obscure and Inconvenient Tables ever Constructed.- D. J. Melville, Commercializing Arithmetic: The Case of Edward Hatton.- C. Baltus, Leading to Poncelet: A Story of Collinear Points.- R. Godard, Cauchy, Le Verrier et Jacobi sur le problème algébrique des valeurs propres et les inégalités séculaires des mouvements des planètes.- A. Ackerberg-Hastings, Mathematics in Astronomy at Harvard College Before 1839 as a Case Study for Teaching Historical Writing in Mathematics Courses.- J. J. Tattersall, S. L. McMurran, "Lectures (...) for Women" and the Founding of Newnham College, Cambridge.- D. Waszek, Are Euclid's Diagrams "Representations"? On an Argument by Ken Manders.- B. Buldt, Abstraction by Embedding and Constraint-Based Design.- W. Meyer, The Birth of Undergraduate Modern Algebra in the United States.- P. Liu, History as a Source of Mathematical Narrative in Developing Students' Interpretations of Mathematics.- F. Kamareddine, J. P. Seldin, Thoughts on Using the History of Mathematics to Teach the Foundations of Mathematical Analysis. (shrink)
In this multidisciplinary book, mathematician Matthew He provides integrative perspectives of algebraic biology, cognitive informatics, and poetic expressions of the human mind. Using classical Pythagorean Theorem and contemporary Category Theory, the proposed matrix models of the human mind connect three domains of the physical space of objective matters, mental space of subjective meanings, and emotional space of bijective modes; draws the connections between neural sparks and idea points, between synapses and idea lines, and between action potentials and frequency curves.
La presente investigación tiene como propósito general asumir un posicionamiento filosófico en clave histórico-social y de tipo anti-relativista para analizar el desarrollo histórico de la matemática, el cual aplicaremos a un caso en particular: la matemática del antiguo Egipto. Para ello se discutirán y criticarán, en primera instancia, determinadas posiciones filosóficas afines al cuasi-empirismo en matemática que, siendo relativistas, permitirán delinear nuestro propio posicionamiento en contraste: la existencia de una «matemática situada». Esta categoría filosófica tendrá como sustento teórico la noción (...) de conocimiento situado. Además, las implicaciones de esta son, según sostenemos, tanto filosóficas como historiográficas, ya que servirá para analizar las características del corpus de problemas matemáticos egipcios registrados en los diversos papiros matemáticos. En particular, haremos referencia a las expresiones lingüísticas egipcias para denotar las diversas operaciones aritméticas y el carácter algorítmico de los problemas, así como también la cuestión epistemológica de la empiria y cómo la perspectiva situada permite superar la dicotomía entre una matemática pura y otra aplicada, que consideramos no es ubicua para abordar la interpretación de la práctica matemática del antiguo país del Nilo. Palabras clave: Filosofía de la matemática, Anti-relativismo, Matemática situada, Extrañeza del pasado, Matemática egipcia. (shrink)
Es común escuchar que el mundo Occidental debe a los árabes el descubrimiento del álgebra. No obstante, el desarrollo de esta disciplina puede interpretarse como un crisol de distintas tradiciones científicas que fue posible gracias a la clasificación, traducción y crítica tanto de los clásicos como de las obras que los árabes obtuvieron de los pueblos que conquistaron. Entre estos trabajos se encontraba Los Elementos de Euclides. Los Elementos fueron cuidadosamente traducidos durante el califato de Al-Ma’mūn por el matemático Mohammed (...) ibn-Musa Al-Khwārizmī, autor de Al-jabr wa’l muqābalah, quien sentó los fundamentos de la disciplina que más tarde sería conocida como álgebra y quien, en la primera parte de su obra, nos proporciona tres métodos para resolver tres tipos de ecuaciones que llama “ecuaciones combinadas”. A lo largo de este artículo se ofrecen argumentos para sostener que los métodos para resolver estas ecuaciones constituyen una reinterpretación, en el terreno algebraico, de los teoremas 6, 7 y 8 del segundo libro de Los Elementos de Euclides. Mi objetivo es dar respuesta a la siguiente pregunta: ¿Qué lectura de Los elementos Euclides posibilitó la emergencia del álgebra en el mundo árabe? Para responderla necesario explorar el acercamiento que los árabes tuvieron con el Libro II de Los Elementos, con el fin de proponer una interpretación de los posibles factores que los llevaron a formular el álgebra. Esto último, en particular, se encuentra en la primera parte de la obra de Al-Khwārizmī. Palabras clave: Álgebra, Al-Khwārizmī, Euclides, Ecuación, Teorema. (shrink)
Mathematics has a long track record of refining the concepts by which we make sense of the world. For example, mathematics allows one to speak about different senses of "sameness", depending on the larger context. Phenomenology is the name of a philosophical discipline that tries to systematically investigate the first-personal perspective on reality and how it is constituted. Together, mathematics and phenomenology seem to be a good fit to derive statements about our experience that are, at the same time, well-defined, (...) precise, and significant to our inner lives. However, there are difficulties stemming from the fact that phenomenology deals with inherently subjective things. Phenomenological investigations seem to lose their appeal when trying to approach them in the clear-cut way afforded by mathematics. How to overcome this obstacle? We argue that the Arts play a special role in mediating between the precise statements of mathematics and the sometimes fuzzy nature of our experience. Mathematics and art are complementary ways to come to a comprehensive understanding of reality. (shrink)
1. OverviewSeveral natural languages such as English contain prima facie different kinds of referential and quantificational expressions. In particular, natural languages can contain singular forms of reference and quantification, as in, e.g., ‘Cecilia is Italian’ and ‘There is a basket of apples on the counter’. But they can contain also plural forms of reference and quantification, as in, e.g., ‘Cecilia and Francesca met in Cathedral Square’ and ‘There are some apples on the counter’. Famously, some sentences in natural language containing (...) plural expressions cannot be formalized in first-order logic, as, e.g. the so-called Geach-Kaplan sentence: This kind of sentence requires at least the expressive power of second-order logic for its logical form to be captured appropriately.The very notions of plural reference and plural quantification are not new in the philosophical landscape.1 But it was from the mid-80s on, starting with the seminal work in [Boolos, 1998a; b], that so-called plural logic gained the attention of the community of logicians, philosophers in general, and philosophers of mathematics in particular.2 Ever since, more and more literature has been produced on it in several areas, e.g., logic and its philosophy, philosophical logic, and philosophy of mathematics, as well as philosophy of language, semantics, and linguistics.3. (shrink)
En este trabajo matemático-filosófico se estudian cuatro tópicos de la Lógica matemática: El método de construcción de modelos llamado Ultraproductos, la Propiedad de Interpolación de Craig, las Álgebras booleanas y los Órdenes parciales separativos. El objetivo principal del mismo es analizar la importancia que tienen dichos tópicos para el estudio de los fundamentos de la matemática, desde el punto de vista del platonismo matemático. Para cumplir con tal objetivo se trabajará en el ámbito de la Matemática, de la Metamatemática y (...) de la Filosofía de la matemática. El desarrollo de la investigación arrojó como resultado que tales tópicos son muy importantes para el estudio de los fundamentos de la matemática, desde el punto de vista del platonismo matemático, y en el trabajo se explica detalladamente con abundantes ejemplos el porqué (al final de cada sección y al final del mismo). (shrink)
En este artículo realizamos una reconstrucción del Programa original de Hilbert antes del surgimiento de los teoremas limitativos de la tercera década del siglo pasado. Para tal reconstrucción empezaremos por mostrar lo que Torretti llama los primeros titubeos formales de Hilbert, es decir, la defensa por el método axiomático como enfoque fundamentante. Seguidamente, mostraremos como estos titubeos formales se establecen como un verdadero programa de investigación lógico-matemático y como dentro de dicho programa la inquietud por la decidibilidad de los problemas (...) matemáticos y en específico la decidibilidad de la Lógica de primer orden cobra peso. Luego pasamos a analizar como la inquietud por la decibilidad toma lugar dentro del pensamiento filosófico-matemático de Hilbert presentándose como uno de los grandes problemas a los cuales la metamatemática debe encontrar una solución, esto lo hacemos mostrando un contraste con autores, como John von Neumann y Roberto Torretti, quienes de alguna u otra manera no interpretan el problema de la decidibilidad de la Lógica de primer orden como un problema de peso dentro del programa original de Hilbert. Finalmente argumentamos que el resultado meta-teórico de Church puede entenderse como una refutación del optimismo intelectual que permea a todo el programa original de Hilbert. (shrink)
From ancient times to 19th century geometryGeometry symbolized the essence of mathematical thinking and method, but modern philosophy of mathematics seems to have marginalized the philosophical status of geometryGeometry. The roots of this transformation will be sought in the ascendance of logical foundations in place of intuitive primacy as the cornerstone of mathematical certainty in the late 19th century. Nevertheless, geometry and geometrical thinking, in multiple manifestations, have continued to occupy a central place in the practice of mathematics proper. We (...) argue that this, together with advances in the neuroscience of mathematical processes, calls for an expansion of the present limited remit of the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
How is that when scientists need some piece of mathematics through which to frame their theory, it is there to hand? What has been called 'the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics' sets a challenge for philosophers. Some have responded to that challenge by arguing that mathematics is essentially anthropocentric in character, whereas others have pointed to the range of structures that mathematics offers. Otavio Bueno and Steven French offer a middle way, which focuses on the moves that have to be made (...) in both the mathematics and the relevant physics in order to bring the two into appropriate relation. This relation can be captured via the inferential conception of the applicability of mathematics, which is formulated in terms of immersion, inference, and interpretation. In particular, the roles of idealisations and of surplus structure in science and mathematics respectively are brought to the fore and captured via an approach to models and theories that emphasize the partiality of the available information: the partial structures approach. The discussion as a whole is grounded in a number of case studies drawn from the history of quantum physics, and extended to contest recent claims that the explanatory role of certain mathematical structures in scientific practice supports a realist attitude towards them. The overall conclusion is that the effectiveness of mathematics does not seem unreasonable at all once close attention is paid to how it is actually applied in practice. (shrink)
I defend the thesis that Composition Entails Identity (CEI): that is, a whole is identical to all of its parts, taken together. CEI seems to be inconsistent, since it seems to require that the parts of a whole possess incompatible number properties (for instance, being one thing and being many things). I show that these number properties are, in fact, compatible.
Volume 2 contains both notebooks of "Time Management (Max) I and II" and thereby Gödel’s applied individual ethics, which he received among others through his teacher Heinrich Gomperz. Gödel thus incorporates the ethical ideal of self-perfection into his opus. The volume is prefaced by an introduction to relevant considerations from the ethics of the Stoics as well as ancient dietetics, which provide the philosophical background to understand Gödel’s approach. In addition, editor Eva-Maria Engelen presents how this fits into the context (...) of Gödel’s Philosophical Notebooks. (shrink)
The essential role of language in rational cognition is analysed. The approach is functional: only the results of the connection between language, reality, and thinking are considered. Scientific language is analysed as an extension and improvement of everyday language. The analysis gives a uniform view of language and rational cognition. The consequences for the nature of ontology, truth, logic, thinking, scientific theories, and mathematics are derived.
The book is a philosophical refection on the possibility of mathematical history. Are poosible models of historical phenomena so exact as those of physical ones? Mathematical models borrowed from quantum mechanics by the meditation of its interpretations are accomodated to history. The conjecture of many-variant history, alternative history, or counterfactual history is necessary for mathematical history. Conclusions about philosophy of history are inferred.
This article, written in Bengali ('Gonit Dorshon' means `philosophy of mathematics' ), briefly reviews a few of the major points of view toward mathematics and the world of mathematical entities, and interprets the philosophy of mathematics as an interaction between these. The existence of these different points of view is indicative that mathematics, in spite of being of universal validity, can nevertheless accommodate alternatives. In particular, I review the alternative viewpoints of Platonism and Intuitionism and present the case that in (...) spite of their great differences, they are not mutually exclusive - that both can be accommodated within the infinite edifice of mathematics. This, in turn, is argued to be consistent with the viewpoint of Category Theory that holds the promise of an entirely new interpretation of the world of mathematics and the relation of that world to the world of our concepts and ideas: mathematics is a human enterprise and mathematical logic is a reflection of how our ideas and concepts are formed and combined with one another. I venture that this, perhaps, is the view of mathematics that Ludwig Wittgenstein would espouse. (shrink)
Penelope Maddy has recently addressed the set-theoretic multiverse, and expressed reservations on its status and merits ([Maddy, 2017]). The purpose of the paper is to examine her concerns, by using the interpretative framework of set-theoretic naturalism. I first distinguish three main forms of 'multiversism', and then I proceed to analyse Maddy's concerns. Among other things, I take into account salient aspects of multiverse-related mathematics , in particular, research programmes in set theory for which the use of the multiverse seems to (...) be crucial, and show how one may provide responses to Maddy's concerns based on a careful analysis of 'multiverse practice'. (shrink)
The volume deals with the history of logic, the question of the nature of logic, the relation of logic and mathematics, modal or alternative logics (many-valued, relevant, paraconsistent logics) and their relations, including translatability, to classical logic in the Fregean and Russellian sense, and, more generally, the aim or aims of philosophy of logic and mathematics. Also explored are several problems concerning the concept of definition, non-designating terms, the interdependence of quantifiers, and the idea of an assertion sign. The contributions (...) concerned with Wittgenstein's investigations into the philosophy of logic and mathematics pursue issues relating to logical necessity, the undeniability of the law of the excluded middle, and the source of self-evidence, often characterized in the literature as the "rule-following considerations". Additionally, they examine Wittgenstein's attitudes towards the very idea of set-theory as a possible foundation for arithmetic. The volume also includes a number of contributions on specific issues concerning Wittgenstein's views on moral and religious judgements. (shrink)
This volume develops a fundamentally different categorical framework for conceptualizing time and reality. The actual taking place of reality is conceived as a “constellatory self-unfolding” characterized by strong self-referentiality and occurring in the primordial form of time, the not yet sequentially structured “time-space of the present.” Concomitantly, both the sequentially ordered aspect of time and the factual aspect of reality appear as emergent phenomena that come into being only after reality has actually taken place. In this new framework, time functions (...) as an ontophainetic [H1] platform, i.e., as the stage on which reality can first occur. Events are merely the “tracks” that the actual taking place of reality leaves behind on the co-emergent “canvas’’ of local spacetime. -/- The view of time proposed here is particularly relevant to the recent debate over the “ER=EPR” conjecture targeting the relation between quantum physics and general relativity theory. The novelty of this radically different framework is that it allows quantum reduction and singularities to be addressed as inverse transitions into and out of the factual layer of reality: In quantum physical state reduction, reality “gains” the chrono-ontological format of facticity, and the sequential aspect of time becomes applicable. In singularities, by contrast, the opposite happens: Reality loses its local spacetime formation and reverts back to its primordial, pre-local shape – making the use of causality relations, Boolean logic and the dichotomization of subject and object obsolete in the process. -/- For our understanding of the relation between quantum and relativistic physics, this new view opens up fundamentally new perspectives: Both are legitimate views of time and reality; they simply address very different chrono-ontological portraits, and thus should not lead us to erroneously prefer one view over the other. -/- The task of the book is to provide a formal framework in which this radically different view of time and reality can be suitably addressed. The mathematical approach is based on the logical and topological features of the Borromean Rings, and draws upon concepts and methods from algebraic and geometric topology – especially the theory of sheaves and links, group theory, logic and information theory in relation to the standard constructions employed in quantum mechanics and general relativity, shedding new light on the problems of their compatibility. The intended audience includes physicists, mathematicians and philosophers with an interest in the conceptual and mathematical foundations of modern physics. (shrink)
To make sense of what Gilles Deleuze understands by a mathematical concept requires unpacking what he considers to be the conceptualizable character of a mathematical theory. For Deleuze, the mathematical problems to which theories are solutions retain their relevance to the theories not only as the conditions that govern their development, but also insofar as they can contribute to determining the conceptualizable character of those theories. Deleuze presents two examples of mathematical problems that operate in this way, which he considers (...) to be characteristic of a more general theory of mathematical problems. By providing an account of the historical development of this more general theory, which he traces drawing upon the work of Weierstrass, Poincaré, Riemann, and Weyl, and of its significance to the work of Deleuze, an account of what a mathematical concept is for Deleuze will be developed. (shrink)
Mathematics seems to have a special status when compared to other areas of human knowledge. This special status is linked with the role of proof. Mathematicians all too often believe that this type of argumentation leaves no room for errors or unclarity. In this paper we take a closer look at mathematical practice, more precisely at the publication process in mathematics. We argue that the apparent view that mathematical literature is also more reliable is too naive. We will discuss several (...) problems in the publication process that threaten this view, and give several suggestions on how this could be countered. (shrink)
The Mathematical Intelligencer recently published a note by Y. Sergeyev that challenges both mathematics and intelligence. We examine Sergeyev’s claims concerning his purported Infinity computer. We compare his grossone system with the classical Levi-Civita fields and with the hyperreal framework of A. Robinson, and analyze the related algorithmic issues inevitably arising in any genuine computer implementation. We show that Sergeyev’s grossone system is unnecessary and vague, and that whatever consistent subsystem could be salvaged is subsumed entirely within a stronger and (...) clearer system. Lou Kauffman, who published an article on a grossone, places it squarely outside the historical panorama of ideas dealing with infinity and infinitesimals. (shrink)
Strong Composition as Identity is the thesis that necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are non-distributively identical to y. Some have argued against this view as follows: if some many things are non-distributively identical to one thing, then what’s true of the many must be true of the one. But since the many are many in number whereas the one is not, the many cannot be identical to the one. Hence is mistaken. (...) Although I am sympathetic to this objection, in this paper, I present two responses on behalf of the theorist. I also show that once the defender of accepts one of these two responses, that defender will be able to answer The Special Composition Question. (shrink)
We apply Benacerraf’s distinction between mathematical ontology and mathematical practice to examine contrasting interpretations of infinitesimal mathematics of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, in the work of Bos, Ferraro, Laugwitz, and others. We detect Weierstrass’s ghost behind some of the received historiography on Euler’s infinitesimal mathematics, as when Ferraro proposes to understand Euler in terms of a Weierstrassian notion of limit and Fraser declares classical analysis to be a “primary point of reference for understanding the eighteenth-century theories.” Meanwhile, scholars like (...) Bos and Laugwitz seek to explore Eulerian methodology, practice, and procedures in a way more faithful to Euler’s own. Euler’s use of infinite integers and the associated infinite products are analyzed in the context of his infinite product decomposition for the sine function. Euler’s principle of cancellation is compared to the Leibnizian transcendental law of homogeneity. The Leibnizian law of continuity similarly finds echoes in Euler. We argue that Ferraro’s assumption that Euler worked with a classical notion of quantity is symptomatic of a post-Weierstrassian placement of Euler in the Archimedean track for the development of analysis, as well as a blurring of the distinction between the dual tracks noted by Bos. Interpreting Euler in an Archimedean conceptual framework obscures important aspects of Euler’s work. Such a framework is profitably replaced by a syntactically more versatile modern infinitesimal framework that provides better proxies for his inferential moves. (shrink)
This essay endeavors to define the concept of indefinite extensibility in the setting of category theory. I argue that the generative property of indefinite extensibility for set-theoretic truths in category theory is identifiable with the Grothendieck Universe Axiom and the elementary embeddings in Vopenka's principle. The interaction between the interpretational and objective modalities of indefinite extensibility is defined via the epistemic interpretation of two-dimensional semantics. The semantics can be defined intensionally or hyperintensionally. By characterizing the modal profile of $\Omega$-logical validity, (...) and thus the generic invariance of mathematical truth, modal coalgebras are further capable of capturing the notion of definiteness for set-theoretic truths, in order to yield a non-circular definition of indefinite extensibility. (shrink)
In this paper Russell’s definition of number is criticized. Russell’s assertion that a number is a particular kind of set implies that number has the properties of a set. It is argued that this would imply that a number contains elements and that this does not conform to our intuitive notion of number. An alternative definition is presented in which number is not seen as an object, but rather as a process and is related to the act of counting and (...) is tightly bound up with the idea of time. Working from the idea that the description of a thing is not the thing itself, it is argued that a function should not be seen as a subset of the Cartesian product of two sets but can be described in this way. Number is then defined as a particular type of bijective function rather than a set. Definitions of equality and addition are developed. In defining addition an interesting error in Russell’s definition of addition is corrected. (shrink)
Abstract -/- The concept of infinity is of ancient origins and has puzzled deep thinkers ever since up to the present day. Infinity remains somewhat of a mystery in a physical world in which our comprehension is largely framed around the concept of boundaries. This is partly because we live in a physical world that is governed by certain dimensions or limits – width, breadth, depth, mass, space, age and time. To our ordinary understanding, it is a seemingly finite world (...) under those dimensions and we may find it difficult to comprehend something that by definition can have no beginning and no end, no limit or boundary. The article argues that this concept can have a meaning different from that normally envisaged in science, philosophy or mathematics, a meaning that transcends all boundaries and which proceeds from a non-material or metaphysical perspective. It examines the features and implications of that concept. -/- . (shrink)