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Philosophy of Mathematics


Admission requirements

  • BA students in Philosophy: propedeuse degree has been obtained.

  • Students from other departments (including contractstudenten): propedeuse degree has been obtained, and additionally the following philosophy courses are required: Logic (Logica).


The course will provide an introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics, in particular to the traditional positions Logicism, Formalism and Intuitionism, and their contemporary successor postions.

Course objectives

This course aims to introduce the main themes, positions, and argumentations within the Philosophy of Mathematics and to illustrate how the Philosophy of Mathematics may serve as a laboratory for the testing of philosophical positions .

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of :

  • the main themes, positions, and argumentations within the Philosophy of Mathematics;

  • connections between the Philosophy of Mathematics and Epistemology as well Philosophy of Language.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • present advanced philosophical positions and arguments lucidly, orally as well as in writing.


See Collegeroosters Wijsbegeerte 2015-2016, BA Wijsbegeerte (BA Plus-traject of Standaardtraject), derde jaar.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures and seminars

Class attendance is required .

Course load

Total course load (10 EC x 28 hrs): 280 hours

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 14 × 3 = 42 hours

  • Preparation for, and elaboration of, weekly classes: 14 × 10 = 140 hours

  • Preparation of presentation: 40 hours

  • Preparation, incl. literature search, and writing of essay: 58 hours

Assessment method

  • Oral presentation and active participation (sine qua non, but not given grade).

  • Final paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the course teacher


One resit will be offered, covering the entire course content and consisting of a paper. The grade will replace previously earned grades for subtests. Class participation and completion of practical assignments (presentation) are mandatory requirements for taking the test and resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for posting of messages, texts, and assigments.

Reading list

To be announced.


Please register for this course via Study administration system uSis
See also Inschrijven voor cursussen en tentamens

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “”.

Exchange students and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs
Registration Studeren à la carte: not applicable.

Contact details

Prof. dr. B.G. Sundholm