Philosophy of Mathematics

In J. Saatsi & S. French (eds.), Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 314-333 (2011)

Christopher Pincock
Ohio State University
For many philosophers of science, mathematics lies closer to logic than it does to the ordinary sciences like physics, biology and economics. While this view may account for the relative neglect of the philosophy of mathematics by philosophers of science, it ignores at least two pressing questions about mathematics that philosophers of science need to be able to answer. First, do the similarities between mathematics and science support the view that mathematics is, after all, another science? Second, does the central role of mathematics in science shed any light on traditional philosophical debates about science like scientific realism, the nature of explanation or reduction? When faced with these kinds of questions many philosophers of science have little to say. Unfortunately, most philosophers of mathematics also fail to engage with questions about the relationship between mathematics and science and so a peculiar isolation has emerged between philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics. In this introductory survey I aim to equip the interested philosopher of science with a roadmap that can guide her through the often intimidating terrain of contemporary philosophy of mathematics. I hope that such a survey will make clear how fruitful a more sustained interaction between philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics could be.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,607
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Varieties of Misrepresentation and Homomorphism.Francesca Pero & Mauricio Suárez - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):71-90.
The Philosophy of Computer Science.Raymond Turner - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
El simposio de Königsberg sobre fundamentos de la matemática en perspectiva.Oscar M. Esquisabel & Javier Legris - 2020 - Metatheoria – Revista de Filosofía E Historia de la Ciencia 10 (2):7--15.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Philosophy of Mathematics.Leon Horsten - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Mathematics as a Science of Patterns.Michael David Resnik - 1997 - Oxford, England: New York ;Oxford University Press.
Thinking About Mathematics: The Philosophy of Mathematics.Stewart Shapiro - 2000 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Towards a Philosophy of Applied Mathematics.Christopher Pincock - 2009 - In Otávio Bueno & Øystein Linnebo (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Axiomatics and Progress in the Light of 20th Century Philosophy of Science and Mathematics.Dirk Schlimm - 2006 - In Benedikt Löwe, Volker Peckhaus & T. Rasch (eds.), Foundations of the Formal Sciences IV. College Publications. pp. 233–253.
Reflections on Mathematics.Edward N. Zalta - 2007 - In V. F. Hendricks & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Philosophy of Mathematics: Five Questions. Automatic Press/VIP.


Added to PP index

Total views
76 ( #155,248 of 2,533,662 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes