Philosophy of Mathematics

Øystein Linnebo

Discover the captivating world of the philosophy of mathematics with Øystein Linnebo‘s groundbreaking book review. As I taught a special topics course on the history of mathematics, I couldn’t help but delve into the deep questions surrounding the nature of mathematics itself. What truly defines mathematics? Do mathematical objects like sets and numbers exist, and if so, in what form?

To my surprise, these philosophical questions had rarely been considered by my students. It was clear that these topics were not commonly explored in mathematics courses. Most students were preoccupied with grasping complex mathematical concepts, leaving little room for philosophical musings.

Given the scarcity of undergraduate-level textbooks on the philosophy of mathematics, Linnebo’s book is a breath of fresh air. It surpasses other introductory texts in sophistication while still being accessible to those new to the subject. Familiarity with philosophical reasoning and writing, as well as a background in logic, will enhance the reading experience.

Unlike other books on the subject, Linnebo’s comprehensive text goes beyond exploring the foundational schools of thought in the philosophy of mathematics. While formalism, logicism, and intuitionism are covered, Philosophy of Mathematics also delves into contemporary issues that have emerged in recent decades. It strikes a perfect balance between the historical and the modern, making it a valuable resource for anyone interested in the philosophy of mathematics.

Join Øystein Linnebo on a journey through the history, concepts, and debates that shape our understanding of mathematics. Whether you’re a mathematics major or a curious mind, this book will challenge your perception of the subject and leave you eager for more.