Topology as an Issue for History of Philosophy of Science

In Hanne Andersen, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Thomas Uebel & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), New Challenges to Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 423--434 (2013)
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Since antiquity well into the beginnings of the 20th century geometry was a central topic for philosophy. Since then, however, most philosophers of science, if they took notice of topology at all, considered it as an abstruse subdiscipline of mathematics lacking philosophical interest. Here it is argued that this neglect of topology by philosophy may be conceived of as the sign of a conceptual sea-change in philosophy of science that expelled geometry, and, more generally, mathematics, from the central position it used to have in philosophy of science and placed logic at center stage in the 20th century philosophy of science. Only in recent decades logic has begun to loose its monopoly and geometry and topology received a new chance to find a place in philosophy of science.

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Thomas Mormann
Ludwig Maximilians Universit√§t, M√ľnchen (PhD)


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