Making and Breaking Mathematical Sense: Histories and by Roi Wagner PDF

By Roi Wagner

ISBN-10: 0691171718

ISBN-13: 9780691171715

ISBN-10: 1400883784

ISBN-13: 9781400883783

In line with the rising box of philosophy of mathematical perform, this publication pushes the philosophy of arithmetic clear of questions on the truth and fact of mathematical entities and statements and towards a spotlight on what mathematicians truly do--and how that evolves and adjustments over the years. How do new mathematical entities become? What inner, normal, cognitive, and social constraints form mathematical cultures? How do mathematical symptoms shape and reform their meanings? How will we version the cognitive techniques at play in mathematical evolution? and the way does arithmetic tie jointly rules, fact, and applications?

Roi Wagner uniquely combines philosophical, old, and cognitive stories to color an absolutely rounded snapshot of arithmetic now not as an absolute perfect yet as a human exercise that takes form in particular social and institutional contexts. The e-book builds on old, medieval, and sleek case stories to confront philosophical reconstructions and state-of-the-art cognitive theories. It makes a speciality of the contingent semiotic and interpretive dimensions of mathematical perform, instead of on arithmetic' declare to common or primary truths, with a purpose to discover not just what arithmetic is, but additionally what it may be. alongside the best way, Wagner demanding situations traditional perspectives that mathematical symptoms characterize mounted, excellent entities; that mathematical cognition is a inflexible move of inferences among formal domain names; and that arithmetic' unparalleled consensus is because of the subject's underlying reality.

The result's a revisionist account of mathematical philosophy that may curiosity mathematicians, philosophers, and historians of technological know-how alike.

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The rest of mathematics was not to be rejected; it was to be upheld as purely syntactic. However, to make sure that the purely syntactic mathematical elaborations that we introduce into our reasoning do not shake the consensual foundation, consistency must be guaranteed, and it must be proven by the means available within this consensual core. Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem shattered this hope. To tie things to the previous section, note that logical positivism sought to do away with the distinguished in-between position of mathematics.

An assertion is “a posteriori” if it is based on empirical experience. To assert that the sun is shining right now depends on my observation of the sky, or some other, less direct observation. 24 • Chapter 1 One might expect the axes of a priori/a posteriori and analytic/­ synthetic to overlap. Indeed, if an assertion does not depend on experience, then we’d expect its truth to follow from definitions and logic, and vice versa. But Kant finds exceptions. While he thinks that analytic a posteriori assertions are impossible (if the predicate is included in the concept, there’s no need to resort to experience), he finds that synthetic a priori assertions are typical of mathematics.

History 2: The Kantian Matrix, Which Grants Mathematics a Constitutive Intermediary Epistemological Position Following the echoes of nominalist scholastic thought, French luminaries pointed to a gap between real mathematics and its abstract counterpart. Condillac, for example, found that numbers began from concrete representations of objects by fingers and so on, but then, as numbers were abstracted, they lost their footing in objects and were perceived “in the names that have become the signs of the numbers” (Condillac, Langue des Calculs, quoted in Schubring 2005, 260).

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Making and Breaking Mathematical Sense: Histories and Philosophies of Mathematical Practice by Roi Wagner

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