Deductive and Mathematical Cognition: Implications for Philosophy

April 7, 2014 - April 8, 2014
Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Cotham, House, University of Bristol, Bristol, City of Bristol BS6 6JL, UK
Bristol BS6 6JL
United Kingdom

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  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science


Helen De Cruz
Oxford University
Saint Louis University
Caterina Dutilh Novaes
University of Groningen
Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Neil Coleman
University of Bristol
Max Jones
University of Bristol

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The Deductive and Mathematical Cognition Philosophy Conference will be held at the University of Bristol on 7th and 8th April 2014. The conference aims to investigate the implications of recent empirical developments in the study of deductive and mathematical cognition for established questions in the philosophy of mathematics and logic. We hope to provide an environment for interdisciplinary discourse between philosophers and those working within the relevant empirical disciplines. The conference will spend one day focussing on each field, the first day (April 7th) on Mathematical Cognition and Philosophy of Mathematics and the second (April 8th) on Deductive Cognition and Philosophy of Logic.

Invited Speakers:

Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Groningen)

Helen De Cruz (Oxford)

Bart van Kerkhove (Brussels)

The call for papers is open to any from a diverse range of fields, including but not limited to philosophy, logic, mathematics, psychology, cognitive science, history and anthropology. At least two spaces are reserved for early career academics and graduate student submissions.

For the first day we welcome submissions that focus on the implications of recent findings in the study of mathematical cognition for traditional issues in the philosophy of mathematics. Suggested topics include:

  • Presentations of experimental work that is of interest to philosophers of mathematics.

  • Do recent findings about the nature of mathematical cognition support certain positions in the ontology of mathematics?

    • o        Do these findings support Structuralism?

    • o        Do these findings support Fictionalism?

    • o        To what extent are mathematical entities mind-independent?

  • §What can recent findings in the study of mathematical cognition tell us about the nature of mathematical knowledge?

    • o        Is mathematical knowledge a priori / a posteriori?

    • o        How do we acquire arithmetical knowledge?

    • o        How do we acquire geometrical knowledge?

  • What role does the historical development of mathematical notation play in determining the nature of mathematical knowledge?

For the second day of the conference, we are looking for papers on a wide range of topics introducing empirical sources of information and insight to philosophical questions concerning logic. Such questions may be metaphysical, epistemological or methodological.Topics include but are by no means limited to:

  • Presentations of empirical work into the nature of deductive processes.

  • Implications of empirical work for issues in the epistemology of logic

    • o        Is logic innate?

    • o        Can we acquire knowledge of logical principles through introspection?

  • Implications of empirical work for the foundations of logic

    • o        What is the subject of logic?

    • o        Are we deductively rational? If not what are the implications for the prescriptive role of logic as a guide to correct reasoning?

  • Should we construct and assess our logics using data from the study of deductive reasoning processes?

Papers should be submitted via Easychair by 15th February 2014 in the following format.

1) A cover letter including the author’s name, university affiliation, contact information, title of paper, topic area, word count, and an abstract of no more than 250 words.

2) A paper prepared for blind review. Submissions should not exceed 4,000 words and should be suitable for a 40-minute presentation.

The registration for delegates that are not presenting a paper is £20, with a reduced fee of £10 for students.

The conference is supported by The British Society for the Philosophy of Science

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March 31, 2014, 10:00am BST

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