Masterclass in the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice 2022

June 1, 2022 - June 3, 2022
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels 1050

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Masterclass in the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice 2022with Valeria Giardino (CNRS, Institut Jean Nicod, Paris)

June, 1–3

Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Brussels, Belgium

The Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) will host its Third Masterclass in the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice on June, 1–3 with Valeria Giardino (CNRS, Institut Jean Nicod, Paris). 

We intend the Masterclass to be a fully interactive event, with the twofold objective to understand in depth the materials presented in the lectures, and to provide early career researchers (PhD students and Postdocs) with an opportunity to discuss their ongoing work in a helpful and constructive environment. The lectures by Valeria Giardino will take place in the mornings, and will be followed by afternoon sessions with presentations by early career researchers in the Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. 

Lectures Valeria Giardino

Mathematical cognition: core knowledge systems and (more importantly) beyond
The literature in cognitive science shows that humans and other animals are born with cognitive systems that are ready to work, for example to compare numerosities or shapes, and whose powers improve by learning new cognitive strategies. In this first talk, I will focus precisely on the practices that have been developed to this aim, which involve in many cases cognitive tools having a spatial nature. I will discuss to which point these objects are important to establish mathematics as we know it.

Cognitive tools for mathematics: anchors or props (or both)?
Edwin Hutchins defined “material anchors” as associating a conceptual structure with a material structure in order to stabilize conceptual representations. However, in some cases these material objects can be used as props to imagine “things” about what they represent. In this second talk, I will discuss the functioning of cognitive tools in the context of mathematics and the possible tension between these two roles.

The practice of mathematics: “trafficking in heterogeneity”
As Emily Grosholz summed up some years ago in the context of logical reasoning, “it is hard for a logician to admit that he is trafficking in heterogeneity”. However, this seems to be easily the case for a mathematician. In this third talk, I will introduce and discuss the more recent literature showing this “traffic” in multi-dimensional reasoning in mathematics, and present some new work of mine on the same topic.

Attendance Fees and Registration
We ask people to register to the Masterclass by May, 1st. There will be no attendance fees for the event, and attendance of the Masterclass is open to everyone interested. If you are planning to attend the Masterclass, please register via the following form: or by sending an email to:[email protected] you do not want to use a Google form.

The Masterclass will take place at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) on the Etterbeek campus, which is situated in Brussels, Belgium. In case you are unable to attend the masterclass in person, there is the possibility to join the event online.

The Masterclass is organized by Joachim Frans (CLPS, VUB), Yacin Hamami (Philosophy Department, ULiège), Colin Rittberg (Department of Philosophy, VU Amsterdam & CLPS, VUB), Deniz Sarikaya (CLPS, VUB), and Fenner Tanswell (CLPS, VUB).

Contact Information
For any questions, please contact the organizers by sending an email to:
[email protected]

For up to date information see also the webpage:

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April 1, 2022, 12:00am CET

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