Philosophy of Mathametics - 4 ECTS

This course aims to provide a basic understanding of selected Mathematical concepts that many branches of science relies on.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Tue 10 May 2022 until Tue 21 June 2022

Duration 10 sessions during period 6
Venue Leeuwenborch, building number 201


  1. Thales of Miletus: Pre and post Socratic area
  2. Four schools of thought: Logicism, Intuitionism, Formalism, Predicativism
  3. Platonism: Gödel’s Platonism, Quine and Colyvan: Naturalism and Indispensability, Tait’s Deflating Platonism, Benacerraf’s Epistemological Problem, Plenitudinous Platonism
  4. Selected topics of discussion: Formalists vs Platonists: Origins of theory of knowledge, Aristotle's metaphysics and philosophy of science, Allegory of the cave: Plato vs Kant, Frege and Russell take on Geometry and Arithmetic. 
  5. Paradoxes from Zeno of Elia to Russell
  6. Gödel Incompleteness Theorem
  7. Wittgenstein: What is logic?

Target group and learning outcomes

The structure of the course is designed for PhD candidates. Yet I am certain that prospective MSc students would benefit from it. After
successful completion of this course, participants are expected to be able to:

  • Connect the philosophical foundations with mathematical advancements
  • Bridge the gap between pre and post Socratic area
  • Analyse 4 schools of thought
  • Analyse Platonism in detail
  • Analyse Aristotle's metaphysics
  • Connect Frege’s and Russell’s take on Geometry and Arithmetic
  • Analyse Gödel and Wittgenstein’s theories on logic.

    Assumed prior knowledge

    High school mathematics


    Session 1 10 May, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 2 17 May, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 3 24 May, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 4 31 May, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 5 7 June, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 6 14 June, 10.00-12.00 hrs Lecture
    Session 7 21 June, 10.00-12.00 hrs Exam


    Lectures, reading, flipped classroom discussions

          Course fee 

          WGS PhDs with TSP € 300
          a) All other PhD candidates b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools € 600
          All others € 900

          Fee includes coffee/tea, and course materials.  

          Cancellation conditions:

          The participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course.

          The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

          The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.