[FOM] Blind logicians and mathematicians

Gianluigi Oliveri gianluigi.oliveri at unipa.it
Mon May 25 13:17:54 EDT 2009

Dear Catarina,

You might find useful to have a look at a paper of mine --- G. 
Oliveri, 'True to the Pattern', in: H. G. Dales & G. Oliveri (eds.), Truth 
in Mathematics, O.U. P., 1998, pp. 253--69 --- where, among other things, I 
address the issue you are interested in (p. 260). 

The philosophy  I use to justify my position (mathematical patterns can dawn 
also on blind mathematicians) is developed further in Ch. 5 of my book: A 
Realist Philosophy of Mathematics, College Publications, London, 2007.

Best wishes,


>----Messaggio originale----
>Da: cdutilhnovaes at yahoo.com
>Data: 21-mag-2009 9.52
>A: "Foundations of Mathematics"<fom at cs.nyu.edu>
>Ogg: [FOM] blind logicians and mathematicians
>Dear all,
>Here is a somewhat unconventional question: is anyone aware of there being 
or having been professional blind logicians or mathematicians? (Of a certain 
standing, of course.) I mean literally blind, or severely visually impaired 
the  politically correct term has it. 
>My motivation for posing this question is the investigation on cognitive 
aspects involved in the practices of logic (and mathematics) that I am 
currently undertaking. One hypothesis that has come up so far is that logic 
(and perhaps mathematics, but to a lesser extent) is essentially a *visual* 
enterprise, appealing to our visual cognitive capacities. So the question of 
whether there have been or are blind logicians (or mathematicians) is 
immediately an important one from this perspective, even though it might 
awkward in first instance. If there is such a person, it would be extremely 
interesting to see whether he or she works in ways that are fundamentally 
different from logicians with full use of their visual abilities; if there 
isn't such a person, then this fact may seem to give some support to the 
hypothesis that logic is essentially a visual enterprise.
>Thanks in advance for your cooperation!
>Catarina Dutilh Novaes
>FOM mailing list
>FOM at cs.nyu.edu

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