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Deleuze, Mathematics and the Nature of Problems by Simon Duffy

School of Mathematics and the Philosophy and Civilization Section at the School of Humanities will organize an academic talk on the history and philosophy of mathematics as follows:

Speaker Simon Duffy
Title Deleuze, Mathematics and the Nature of Problems
Data Thursday, 23 February 2017
Time 2.30-5pm
Venue Conference Room, School of Mathematics

Title: Deleuze, Mathematics and the Nature of Problems


This paper defends a deflationary characterisation of Deleuze’s metaphysics, and the ontological commitments it seems to imply, as a metaphysics of the calculus that draws upon a conception of mathematics that is steeped in the implications of a subject naturalist pragmatist approach to the question of mathematical foundations. In order to make sense of this deflationary metaphysics that I attribute to Deleuze, I argue that it is consonant in useful ways with the subject naturalist pragmatism proposed by Macarthur and Price (2007). One preliminary consonance being that the conception of mathematics that Deleuze develops does not serve the same reductive ends that ‘capital N Naturalism’ requires, but rather it serves as a useful tool for modelling the nature of our relation to the world without the representational presuppositions of the latter. One way of characterising this conception of mathematics that will be explored is the deflationary character of Carnap’s philosophy of mathematics and the principle of tolerance that he advocates with respect to foundational questions in mathematics (Carnap 1937).

Biography of Speaker:

Dr Simon Duffy is a Senior Lecturer at Yale-NUS College, Singapore. He received a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Sydney in 2003 after a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (MPhil equivalent) in Philosophy at the Université de Paris X-Nanterre (1999). He has taught at the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland, where he was a postdoctoral fellow in Philosophy at the Centre for the History of European Discourses. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, Dr Duffy was an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. His main areas of research are in early modern philosophy, modern and contemporary European philosophy, and the history and philosophy of science. He has written and edited books on the works of Gilles Deleuze, Alain Badiou, Albert Lautman, Baruch Spinoza and Georg Hegel.

You are cordially invited to the talk. CPD points will be given to USM staff.