The Practice of Mathematics: Cognitive Resources and Conceptual Content

Topoi 42 (1):259-270 (2023)
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In the past 10 years, contemporary philosophy of mathematics has seen the development of a trend that conceives mathematics as first and foremost a human activity and in particular as a kind of practice. However, only recently the need for a general framework to account for the target of the so-called philosophy of mathematical practice has emerged. The purpose of the present article is to make progress towards the definition of a more precise general framework for the philosophy of mathematical practice by exploring two strategies. A first strategy is to turn to philosophy of mind and Edwin Hutchins' view of distributed cognition in order to better understand the cognitive issues at play when considering a community of mathematicians; a second strategy is to refer to philosophy of language and focus on Robert Brandom's inferentialism and mathematical conceptual content. A possible combination of these two views, called enhanced material inferentialism, is then put forward as a promising framework to account for the philosophy of mathematical practice.



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Valeria Giardino
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.
Ontological relativity.W. V. Quine - 1968 - Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):185-212.
Mathematical Knowledge and the Interplay of Practices.José Ferreirós - 2015 - Princeton, USA: Princeton University Press.
Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism.Robert Brandom - 2002 - Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206):123-125.

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