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Social Constructivism as a Philosophy of Mathematics

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Overview

The book offers novel analyses of the important but under-recognized contributions of Wittgenstein and Lakatos to the philosophy of mathematics. Building on their ideas, it develops a theory of mathematical knowledge and its relation to the social context. It offers an original theory of mathematical knowledge based on the concept of conversation, and develops the rhetoric of mathematics to account for proof in mathematics. Another novel feature is the account of the social construction of subjective knowledge, which relates the learning of mathematics to philosophy of mathematics via the development of the individual mathematician. It concludes by considering the values of mathematics and its social responsibility.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Proposes social constructivism as a novel philosophy of mathematics, critiquing traditional absolutist conceptions of mathematics and the field of philosophy of mathematics itself. Offers new analyses of the contributions of Wittgenstein and Lakatos to the philosophy of mathematics, and develops a theory of mathematical knowledge and its relation to the social context, based on the theory of conversation. Builds a rhetoric of mathematics to account for proof in mathematics, offers an account of the social construction of subjective knowledge, and considers the values of mathematics and its social responsibility. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Critique of Absolutism in the Philosophy of Mathematics 1
2 Reconceptualizing the Philosophy of Mathematics 39
3 Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics 64
4 Lakatos's Philosophy of Mathematics 97
5 The Social Construction of Objective Knowledge 131
6 Conversation and Rhetoric 162
7 The Social Construction of Subjective Knowledge 206
8 Social Constructivism: Evaluation and Values 247
Bibliography 279
Index 305
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