Digital Turn in Epistemology


15 - 17 April 2019
Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands, Drift 21, room 1.05

Conference ‘Mathematical Ability’

In most scientific disciplines, inquiries into mathematical cognition have focused on the end product of mathematical activity: what makes a mathematical statement true, and how do we acquire the knowledge that a mathematical statement is true? However, with recent E-approaches to cognition (Extended, Embodied, Embedded, Enactive, Enculturated cognition) on the rise, this focus is shifting towards the process of mathematical activity: what is it to have mathematical ability, and how do we acquire the knowledge how to do mathematics? These questions are informed by the various E-approaches to cognition: our bodies, our technology, our environment – both offline and online – our practices, our culture, our education, and our interactional history might all have some role to play in our mathematical ability and the development thereof. How mathematical cognition is shaped by these factors is a broad question that warrants an interdisciplinary approach.

For this conference, we invite scholars from various fields, including but not limited to philosophy, logic, AI, cognitive (neuro)science, and education studies, to submit proposals for short talks (30 minutes, plus 10 minutes Q&A) on the following questions:

  • What is it to do mathematics; what is it to have a mathematical ability; what is mathematical know-how?
  • How do children learn mathematics; how do they acquire mathematical know-how?
  • How can we capture, in a logical formalism, the ability to do mathematics?
  • What role does our body play in our mathematical ability and the development thereof?
  • How can we improve the methods by which embodied and embedded mathematical know-how is acquired, and can we design (digital) tools for this purpose?
  • How can interaction with digital tools improve mathematical abilities?

Keynote speakers:

  • Dor Abrahamson, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Elizabeth de Freitas, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
  • Karim Zahidi, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Luis Radford, School of Education Sciences at Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada
  • Alfred Nordmann, Institut für Philosophie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • Valentin Goranko, Department of Philosophy,
    Stockholm University, Sweden. Link to keynote lecture.
  • Ricardo Nemirovsky, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK

The program of the conference can be found here.

Abstracts can be found here.

Practical information can be found here.

The venue of the conference is in the city center of Utrecht, Drift 21, room 1.05.

This conference is organized within the project Digital Turn in Epistemology, funded by NWO. Private partner from industry is Noordhoff Uitgevers.