FOM: Logical stucture of mathematical practice

Joe Shipman shipman at
Mon Jan 17 19:25:57 EST 2000


>>I don't think that my strong views about the logical structure of
mathematics is mainly based on 20th century mathematics. Of course, it
is true that mathematical practice conforms (in the appropriate sense)
to this structure only in 20th and (up to now) the 21st century.<<

Maybe mathematical practice as a whole only achieved complete logical
clarity in the last 100 years, but various areas of mathematics achieved
it significantly earlier (analysis by the time of Cauchy and
Weierstrass, number theory by the time of Gauss, algebra by the time of
Cayley and Sylvester, geometry by the time of Riemann and Klein).

Also, the century of the 1900's has ended, but the 20th century has not
yet (unless you believe it or some other century contained 99 or fewer
years, or believe that the first century included the year 1 B.C.).

-- Joe Shipman

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