Spring 2019 - PHIL 814 G100

Selected Topics in Philosophy of Mathematics (5)

Foundations of Math

Class Number: 7499

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 6:20 PM
    WMC 2507, Burnaby

    Th 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5007, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 14, 2019
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby



Selected Topics: Foundations of Mathematics

[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 345W.]

Important note regarding enrollment: instructor consent is required for all students apart from Philosophy graduate students.

We will study the great foundational questions in mathematics, including:

  • Are our mathematical theories compatible with physicalism?
  • Do we really know that our mathematical theories are logically consistent?
  • Are mathematical truths a priori?
  • Are there mathematical truths that are unknowable in principle?
  • Does classical logic require reform?

We will read works by great philosophers including Bertrand Russell, and great mathematicians including David Hilbert and Kurt Gödel.


This course can be used to fulfill the Metaphysics and Epistemology stream distribution requirement.

  • Students will study the history of the philosophy of mathematics, from Frege to the present day.


  • 2 Short papers (25% each) 50%
  • Final paper 50%



Readings will be posted on Canvas as necessary. 

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html