I have a very brief question: Can a professional mathematician publish philosophy papers, essays, etc.? For example, would a leading philosophy journal, nowadays, consider publishing a paper or an essay about philosophy of mathematics written by a mathematician. If so, does any one have proof of such instances? I am of course aware of the fact that numerous mathematicians were philosophers and vice versa, but the standards have changed, so I seek recent publications (as proof).

Edit: Suppose I wanted to write an article about geometric fallacies and why geometric arguments fail, in general, when we use infinitesimals, limits, etc. or something of this nature. Would this be considered for a publication in a philosophy journal?

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    Since most leading journal use double blind peer review, how could they rule out submissions by mathematicians?
    – user400
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 13:40
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    @DBK: I don't think there's a question of whether or not it's permitted, but rather whether or not any recently published mathematician (and perhaps we can restrict ourselves to those whose published work consists largely of mathematics) is also a published philosopher of mathematics. I suspect the OP is not interested in whether it's "allowed", but rather whether or not someone who has not spent most of their time considering philosophy has something to say which philosophers consider to be of interest.
    – Niel de Beaudrap
    Commented Nov 11, 2012 at 14:53

3 Answers 3


Jeffrey Shallit is "a computer scientist, number theorist, a noted advocate for civil liberties on the Internet, and a noted critic of intelligent design." He has a B.S. and a Ph.D. in Mathematics and is currently a Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He co-wrote a paper with Wesley Elsberry (Information theory, evolutionary computation, and Dembski’s “complex specified information”) which was published in Synthese, "An International Journal for Epistemology, Methodology and Philosophy of Science" on January 2011.


Just randomly browsed Philosophia Mathematica and found To Diagram, to Demonstrate: To Do, To See, and To Judge in Greek Geometry written by Montelle, who lists his employment as in the department of mathematics. It's from Feb 2012, so recent.


Why do you consider that fields of research have to be separated by clear boundaries well-defined? It's not the case, and there are plenty of examples to prove it. Read about Bertrand Russell for example, is he a mathematician or a philosopher?

If Russell is too old, what about Godel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Gödel), Hofstadter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Hofstadter)?

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    I know what you mean, but Russell was a 20th century philosopher and a logician (primarily), so I would not refer to c. 1950 as "nowadays".
    – glebovg
    Commented Nov 15, 2012 at 23:26

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