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Foucault's ArchaeologyScience and Transformation$
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David Webb

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624218

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624218.001.0001

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Jean Cavaillès: Grounding Thought in its Own History

Jean Cavaillès: Grounding Thought in its Own History

3 Jean Cavaillès: Grounding Thought in its Own History
Foucault's Archaeology

David Webb

Edinburgh University Press

The philosopher of mathematics, Jean Cavaillès, developed a conception of mathematics that rejected Hilbert's programme of an axiomatic foundation, intuitionism, logicism, and the idea of placing mathematics on an empirical basis. Instead, he regarded mathematics as an autonomous formal discipline whose unity derives from its own historical movement. This historical movement is not governed by any fixed set of rules or teleological principle, but simply evolves through a series of problems, with no way of predicting the form its next stage will take. The idea of a formal discipline that evolves according to patterns established by its own history will be enormously important for understanding Foucault's conception of discourse.

Keywords:   Foucault, Cavaillès, Mathematics, History, Construction

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