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    Macalester College
  Sep 24, 2017
College Catalog 2014-2015 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 312 - Philosophy of Mathematics

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Why does 2 + 2 equal four? Can a diagram prove a mathematical truth? Is mathematics a social construction or do mathematical facts exist independently of our knowing them? Philosophy of mathematics considers these sorts of questions in an effort to understand the logical and philosophical foundations of mathematics. Topics include mathematical truth, mathematical reality, and mathematical justifications (knowledge). Typically we focus on the history of mathematics of the past 200 years, highlighting the way philosophical debates arise in mathematics itself and shape its future. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 111 , MATH 136 , or permission of the instructor. Alternate years. (4 Credits)