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Unit information: Philosophy of Mathematics in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Philosophy of Mathematics
Unit code PHIL20039
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Fujimoto
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The course gives an overview of the main theories in contemporary philosophy of mathematics. It starts with a discussion of the three main foundational schools of the first half of the twentieth century (logicism, intuitionism, formalism). Then the unit further goes on to study recent developments in the philosophy of mathematics such as a modern form of Platonism, nominalism, and structuralism.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will have

(a) gained comprehensive knowledge of the main questions and schools of thought in modern philosophy of mathematics

(b) learned to engage with these questions with suitable competence

(c) strengthened their oral and written skills in philosophical argumentation.

Teaching Information

1-hour lecture + 1-hour seminar per week

Assessment Information

2 formative essays + 3-hour exam

Reading and References

Key reading:

Shapiro, S. Thinking About Mathematics, OUP, 2000