Mathematical Methods in Philosophy (07w5060)


(University of California-Irvine)

(University of Toronto)

Richard Zach (University of Calgary)


Some of the world's foremost experts in philosophical logic, foundations of mathematics, and formal epistemology will converge on The Banff Centre next week, February 18 - 23, 2007, where the Banff International Research Station is hosting a workshop on applications of mathematical disciplines such as symbolic logic, set theory, and probability theory in philosophy. The event is organized by Professors Aldo Antonelli (University of California, Irvine), Alasdair Urquhart (University of Toronto), and Richard Zach (University of Calgary).

There is a long tradition of applying formal mathematical methods to philosophical problems. Philosophers use formal models to test the implications of their theories in tractable cases. But often formal work done by philosophers finds applications in other areas: for instance, formal systems originally developed to deal with philosophical concepts such as possibility, obligation, and knowledge are now widely used in computer science and linguistics. Philosophical inquiry can also uncover new mathematical structures and problems, as with recent work on paradoxes about truth. The workshop will focus on recent advances in established areas of research such as modal logic and theories of truth, but also in emerging fields such as formal epistemology. It will bring together forty researchers from North America, Europe, and Australia.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).