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CfP topical collection of Synthese: Linguistically Informed Philosophy of Maths, Deadline: 15 Mar 2022

Call for Papers: Topical Collection of Synthese

Title: Linguistically Informed Philosophy of Mathematics: How the study of 
mathematical texts contributes to the investigation of philosophical problems

Guest Editors: Bernhard Fisseni (University of Duisburg-Essen), Deborah Kant 
(University of Hamburg), Deniz Sarikaya (University of Hamburg) and Bernhard 
Schröder (University of Duisburg-Essen)

See also: https://www.springer.com/journal/11229/updates/19385258

Text is a crucial medium for transferring mathematical ideas, agendas, and 
results within the scientific community and in educational contexts. This makes 
the focus on mathematical texts a natural and important part of the 
philosophical study of mathematics. Moreover, research on mathematical texts 
can take advantage of the huge body of knowledge and toolbox of methods from 
other disciplines such as linguistics and computer science to investigate 
problems in the philosophy of mathematics. Linguistically informed research 
addresses general questions of the philosophy of mathematics. Among those 
philosophical questions are the following, including methodological reflections 
on this approach.

- What are mathematical proofs, and which role does their textual 
representation play for mathematical communication and theorizing?
- What is mathematical explanation of mathematical facts and how is it valued 
by mathematicians?
- How have mathematical concepts developed historically? For instance, how does 
the concept of a plane in Euclid differ from a modern geometric approach?
- What is the role of metaphor in mathematical practice?
- How do argumentative foundations change historically?
- How are mathematical objects conceptualized: is there a difference between 
formal and textual approaches?
- (How) Do tools like LaTeX, blogs, and forums influence mathematical practice? 
For instance, have LaTeX environments strengthened the tendency to typeset 
proof structure more explicitly?

This topical collection aims to bring together and build bridges between 
researchers from different methodological backgrounds to tackle questions 
concerning the philosophy of mathematics. This includes approaches from 
philosophical analysis, linguistics (e.g., corpus studies) and literature 
studies, but also methods from computer science and artificial intelligence 
(e.g., big data approaches and natural language processing), cognitive 
sciences, and mathematics education (relevant studies include Mancosu et al. 
2005; Giaquinto 2007; Schlimm 2008; Pease et al. 2013; Fisseni et al. 2019, 
Cramer et al. 2021).

Note that this remains a philosophical issue. So while methods are 
interdisciplinary, we aim for a philosophical upshot.

The impressive progress in natural language processing on the one side and 
automated theorem proving on the other side make it attractive to develop good 
models of mathematical texts to make use of state of the art techniques for 
better tooling in documenting and developing mathematics. The language of 
mathematics as a technical jargon or as a special natural language with a rich 
structure is an important test-case for practical and theoretical study of 
language, and also has consequences for the philosophy of language and the 
philosophy of mathematical practice. In this collection, we target mathematical 
text in a broad sense, including written interaction such as blogs, forums, 
reviews as well as textbooks and research articles.

M. Carl, M. Cramer, B. Fisseni, D. Sarikaya and B. Schröder. “How to Frame 
Understanding in Mathematics: A Case Study Using Extremal Proofs”. Axiomathes 

B. Fisseni, B. Schröder, D. Sarikaya and M. Schmitt. “How to frame a 
mathematician. Modelling the cognitive background of proofs.” In: S. Centrone, 
D. Kant and D. Sarikaya (Eds.): Reflections on the Foundations of Mathematics: 
Univalent Foundations, Set Theory and General Thoughts. Berlin: Synthese 
Library, Springer (2019), pp. 417-436.

M. Giaquinto: Visual thinking in mathematics. An epistemological study. Oxford: 
Oxford University Press (2007).

P. Mancosu, K.F. Jørgensen and S.A. Pedersen (Eds.): Visualization, explanation 
and reasoning styles in mathematics. Dordrecht, Norwell, MA: Synthese Library 
327, Springer (2005).

A. Pease, M. Guhe and A. Smaill: “Developments in research on mathematical 
practice and cognition”, Topics in cognitive science 5(2) (2013), pp. 224–230.

D. Schlimm: “Two Ways of Analogy. Extending the Study of Analogies to 
Mathematical Domains”, Philosophy of Science 75(2) (2008), pp. 178–200.

For further information, or if you are unsure whether your paper idea fits the 
theme, please contact ideally all of us: bernhard.fisseni@uni-due.de, 
kantdebo@gmail.com, Deniz.Sarikaya@uni-hamburg.de, and 

The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2022

Papers should be submitted via the Synthese’s editorial manager at 
https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/default.aspx . When the system asks you 
to “Choose Article Type”, please scroll down in the pull-down menu to choose 
this topical collection: "T.C. : Linguistically Informed Philosophy of 
Mathematics" When preparing your paper, please read the journal’s ‘Instructions 
for authors’ at https://www.springer.com/journal/11229/submission-guidelines
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