Philosophy of Mathematics Beyond the Armchair?!

August 22, 2022 - August 26, 2022
Department of Philosophy, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Schadowplatz 14
Düsseldorf 40212

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
  • German Society for Philosophy of Science
  • German Society for Analytic Philosophy


Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Universität Hamburg
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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Application deadline: 1st June, 2022 (you'll get notified a few days later)
Programme and Application:

The HHU Summer School “Philosophy of Mathematics Beyond the Armchair?!” aims at gathering young scholars with an interest into the philosophy of mathematics who want to explore new and innovative methodologies. Current trends show that philosophers of mathematics see the potential in applying various methods from other disciplines such as large corpus analyses, interview studies, or psychological experiments. We offer a platform to educate the upcoming generation in those methods. It should be noted that those methods are in principle valuable for other fields of philosophy as well.

An already established strand in the philosophy of mathematics integrates social aspects of mathematics into philosophical thoughts, because traditional philosophical approaches focusing exclusively on the nature of mathematics by excluding all human aspects were often enough criticized as being too idealized and far from reality. Prominently, Lakatos, Davis and Hersh, and Mancosu set the stage for an engaged investigation of mathematical practice beyond the armchair. But still today, the methodology for investigating mathematical practices as well as the philosophical scope of questions addressing social and practical aspects are not fixed and a lot of scholars try to settle these issues. This is the contemporary research background in which we see an excellent opportunity to integrate young scholars into the field.  

During five days, the schedule will be split into a morning and afternoon session in which internationally highly reputed lecturers offer courses presenting their methods of expertise. The students will have the possibility to apply the methods and study the practical details. In some evening lectures, we will reflect on the limits and potential of empirical methods for the philosophy of mathematics together with prominent philosophers of mathematics. Further, a social get-together and an afternoon excursion is planned to guarantee exchange between the participants.

The courses comprise the following topics: 

  • experimental philosophy
  • ethnographic approaches
  • historical case studies
  • small-data approaches
  • big-data approaches.

Our list of instructors and lecturers includes:

  • Bernhard Fisseni (Duisburg-Essen)
  • Karen François (CLPS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Benedikt Löwe (Hamburg, Amsterdam & Cambridge)
  • Ursula Martin (Edinburgh & Oxford)
  • Mikkel Willum Johansen (Copenhagen)
  • Helena Mihaljević (HTW Berlin)
  • Kevin Reuter (UZH Zurich)
  • Bernhard Schröder (Duisburg-Essen)
  • Henrik Kragh Sørensen (Copenhagen)
  • Roy Wagner (ETH Zurich) (TBC)
  • Keith Weber (Rutgers)

Covid-19: This event is planned as an in-person event to support learning and social interaction between the participants. However, if any measures are required in summer, the event might turn into a hybrid event. 

Application: We welcome applications from external students (MA and PhD students). Apply with a short letter of motivation (200-400 words) and your CV using the form on our website:

There is no participation fee. However, participants will need to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. We especially encourage members of underrepresented groups to apply. 

If you do not want to use the form, or if you have any questions, please contact Deborah Kant (deborah.kant [at]

Organisation: The summer school is organised by Paul Hasselkuß (Düsseldorf), Deborah Kant (Hamburg), and Deniz Sarikaya (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

It is hosted and supported by Heinrich Heine University, and supported by the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the German Society for Analytic Philosophy, the German Society for Philosophy of Science, and by Christoph Kann (Düsseldorf).

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June 1, 2022, 12:00am CET

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