Citations of:
Add citations
You must login to add citations.


ABSTRACT A number of examples of studies from the field ‘The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice’ are given. To characterise this new field, three different strands are identified: an agentbased, a historical, and an epistemological PMP. These differ in how they understand ‘practice’ and which assumptions lie at the core of their investigations. In the last part a general framework, capturing some overall structure of the field, is proposed. 

Foundations of Science recently published a rebuttal to a portion of our essay it published 2 years ago. The author, G. Schubring, argues that our 2013 text treated unfairly his 2005 book, Conflicts between generalization, rigor, and intuition. He further argues that our attempt to show that Cauchy is part of a long infinitesimalist tradition confuses text with context and thereby misunderstands the significance of Cauchy’s use of infinitesimals. Here we defend our original analysis of various misconceptions and misinterpretations concerning (...) 

Cauchy's sum theorem is a prototype of what is today a basic result on the convergence of a series of functions in undergraduate analysis. We seek to interpret Cauchy’s proof, and discuss the related epistemological questions involved in comparing distinct interpretive paradigms. Cauchy’s proof is often interpreted in the modern framework of a Weierstrassian paradigm. We analyze Cauchy’s proof closely and show that it finds closer proxies in a different modern framework. 

In relation to a thesis put forward by Marx Wartofsky, we seek to show that a historiography of mathematics requires an analysis of the ontology of the part of mathematics under scrutiny. Following Ian Hacking, we point out that in the history of mathematics the amount of contingency is larger than is usually thought. As a case study, we analyze the historians’ approach to interpreting James Gregory’s expression ultimate terms in his paper attempting to prove the irrationality of \. Here (...) 

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 eighteenthcentury theories.” Meanwhile, scholars like (...) 

The small, the tiny, and the infinitesimal have been the object of both fascination and vilification for millenia. One of the most vitriolic reviews in mathematics was that written by Errett Bishop about Keisler’s book Elementary Calculus: an Infinitesimal Approach. In this skit we investigate both the argument itself, and some of its roots in Bishop George Berkeley’s criticism of Leibnizian and Newtonian Calculus. We also explore some of the consequences to students for whom the infinitesimal approach is congenial. The (...) 

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 nineteenthcentury mathematicians made numerous unsettling discoveries that threatened their understanding of their own discipline and challenged their intuitions. The great French mathematician (...) 

We analyze recent criticisms of the use of hyperreal probabilities as expressed by Pruss, Easwaran, Parker, and Williamson. We show that the alleged arbitrariness of hyperreal fields can be avoided by working in the Kanovei–Shelah model or in saturated models. We argue that some of the objections to hyperreal probabilities arise from hidden biases that favor Archimedean models. We discuss the advantage of the hyperreals over transferless fields with infinitesimals. In Paper II we analyze two underdetermination theorems by Pruss and (...) 

NonArchimedean probability functions allow us to combine regularity with perfect additivity. We discuss the philosophical motivation for a particular choice of axioms for a nonArchimedean probability theory and answer some philosophical objections that have been raised against infinitesimal probabilities in general. 

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 LeviCivita 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 (...) 

Felix Klein and Abraham Fraenkel each formulated a criterion for a theory of infinitesimals to be successful, in terms of the feasibility of implementation of the Mean Value Theorem. We explore the evolution of the idea over the past century, and the role of Abraham Robinson's framework therein. 

To explore the extent of embeddability of Leibnizian infinitesimal calculus in firstorder logic (FOL) and modern frameworks, we propose to set aside ontological issues and focus on pro cedural questions. This would enable an account of Leibnizian procedures in a framework limited to FOL with a small number of additional ingredients such as the relation of infinite proximity. If, as we argue here, first order logic is indeed suitable for developing modern proxies for the inferential moves found in Leibnizian infinitesimal (...) 