“Mathematical and Musical Notation as Models” by Mark Colyvan (14 Mar)

Since the demise of formalism in the philosophy of mathematics, notation has ceased to be a topic of philosophical interest. But within mathematics there are lively debates about notation, it’s just that philosophers typically don’t weigh in. I hope to take a small step towards correcting this neglect on the part of philosophers of mathematics. I will look at the roles musical notation plays in composition, performance, and arranging musical pieces and I will argue that there is a great deal of similarity in the functions of mathematical and musical notations. I will argue that both notational systems serve as models of the target system in question (mathematical structures or musical pieces, respectively).

Philosophy Seminar Series.
Date: Friday, 14 Mar 2014
Time: 2 pm – 4 pm
Venue: Philosophy Resource Room (AS3 #05-23)
Speaker: Mark Colyvan, University of Sydney
Moderator: Dr. Ben Blumson

About the Speaker:

ColyvanMark Colyvan was awarded a BSc(Hons) in mathematics at the University of New England in 1994 before taking a PhD in philosophy from the Australian National University in 1998. He is currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Australia. His main research interests are in the philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, philosophy of logic, decision theory, and environmental philosophy. He is the author of The Indispensability of Mathematics (Oxford University Press, 2001), An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and, with Lev Ginzburg, Ecological Orbits: How Planets Move and Populations Grow (Oxford University Press, 2004). Two of his papers, “Applying Inconsistent Mathematics” and “Mating, Dating, and Mathematics: It’s All in the Game” were selected by Princeton University Press as being among the best writing on mathematics for 2010 and 2012 respectively (in M. Pitici (ed.), The Best Writing on Mathematics, Princeton University Press, 2011/2013). Further information is available from his website: http://www.colyvan.com.


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