An Introduction to Philosophy of Mathematics

Course details

From £80.00

Sat 07 Mar 2020 - Sun 08 Mar 2020
2.45pm Sat - 1.00pm Sun

An Introduction to Philosophy of Mathematics


The philosophy of mathematics asks how mathematics fits in to our overall picture of the world. Mathematics is a big part of that picture, especially since it is applied so fruitfully in the sciences –  not just the physical sciences but the social and cognitive sciences as well. But it’s also puzzling in a way that these sciences are not. Unlike them, it doesn’t seem to be about the physical world, at least not directly; we don’t perform experiments in mathematics in the way we do in physics or chemistry. But yet – unlike fiction say – it doesn’t seem to be made up either. We are constrained in mathematics. So what is mathematics about? And how do we know it? What is the special role of proof in mathematics, and why do mathematicians insist on it? What is nature of the logical constraints on mathematical reasoning? Is there but one correct logic? Or might there be several?


Programme details


2.45pm          Course Registration

3.00pm          What is mathematics about?

                        ALEX PASEAU

4.30pm          Tea / coffee

5.00pm          Challenges to classical logic

                        FLORIAN STEINBERGER                       

6.30pm          Break / bar open

7.00pm          Dinner

8.15pm-         Proof and mathematical justification

9.30pm          ALEX PASEAU       


8.15am          Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am          Pluralism and relativism in logic and mathematics

                        FLORIAN STEINBERGER                                        

10.45am        Coffee / tea

11.15am         Q & A

                       Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT

12.30pm        Break / bar open

1.00pm          Lunch

2.00pm         Course disperses



Description Costs
Tuition (includes tea/coffee) £80.00
Baguette Sunday £5.00
Dinner Saturday evening £21.00
Single B&B Saturday Night £83.00
Single Room Only Saturday Night £71.00
Sunday Lunch £15.00
Twin/Double Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night £118.00
Twin/Double Room Only (2 sharing) Saturday Night £94.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Dr Alexander Paseau


Alexander Paseau is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University and the Stuart Hampshire Fellow at Wadham College. He has first-class degrees in mathematics and philosophy from Cambridge, where he also took a PhD and was a Research Fellow from 2002 to 2005. His research is in mathematical philosophy: logic, the philosophy of mathematics, and applications of logic to other parts of philosophy. He has published widely in these fields, and in 2017 edited the five-volume collection Philosophy of Mathematics.


Dr Florian Steinberger


Florian Steinberger is a Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London. He studied philosophy and mathematical logic in Paris, before taking an MPhil and a PhD at Cambridge, where he also held a Research Fellowship from 2008 to 2011. Prior to taking up his current position, he was Assistant Professor at LMU Munich and the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. His research is in the philosophies of language and logic, as well as in epistemology.


Ms Marianne Talbot

Director of Studies


Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.




Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.