Research in History and Philosophy of Mathematics
The CSHPM 2017 Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario
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A series of chapters all set in the eighteenth century consider topics such as John Marsh’s techniques for the computation of decimal fractions, Euler’s efforts to compute the surface area of scalene cones, a little-known work by John Playfair on the practical aspects of mathematics, and Monge’s use of descriptive geometry.
The remaining chapters deal with the philosophy of twentieth-century mathematics through topics such as an historically informed discussion of finitism and its limits; a reexamination of Mary Leng’s defenses of mathematical fictionalism through an alternative, anti-realist approach to mathematics; and a look at the reasons that mathematicians select specific problems to pursue.
Written by leading scholars in the field, these papers are accessible to not only mathematicians and students of the history and philosophy of mathematics, but also anyone with a general interest in mathematics.