Mathematical Practice and Human Cognition

Document Type


Presentation Date

Summer 8-6-2015

Conference Name

15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science

Conference Location



Frank Quinn of Jaffe-Quinn fame (see [1]) worked out the basics of his own account of how mathematical practice should be described and analyzed, partly by historical comparisons with 19th century mathematics, partly by an analysis of contemporary mathematics and its pedagogy ([2]).

Despite his claim that for this task, "professional philosophers seem as irrelevant as Aristotle is to modern physics," this philosophy talk will provide a critical summary of his main observations and arguments (unpublished except for [3]). The goal is to inject some of Quinns remarks to the current conversation on mathematical practice.

[1] Jaffe, Arthur, Quinn, Frank. "Theoretical Mathematics: Towards a synthesis of mathematics and theoretical physics," Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society NS 29:1 (1993), 113.

[2] Quinn, Frank. Contributions to a Science of Mathematics, manuscript (October 2011), 98pp.

[3] Quinn, Frank. "A revolution in mathematics? What really happened a century ago and why it matters today," Notices American Mathematical Society 59:1 (2012) 31-37.


mathematical practice, mathematical concepts, math edu


Epistemology | Logic and Foundations | Logic and Foundations of Mathematics | Philosophy | Philosophy of Science

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