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James Franklin (philosopher)

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James Franklin (philosopher)

James Franklin (born in Sydney in 1953) is an Australian philosopher, mathematician and historian of ideas. He was educated at St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, New South Wales. His undergraduate work was at the University of Sydney (1971–74), where he attended St John's College and he was influenced by philosophers David Stove and David Armstrong. He completed his PhD in 1981 at University of Warwick, on algebraic groups. Since 1981 he has taught in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales.

His research areas include the structuralist philosophy of mathematics and the 'formal sciences' (he is the founder of the Sydney School in the philosophy of mathematics), Australian Catholic history, the parallel between ethics and mathematics (work for which he received the 2005 Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics), restraint, the quantification of rights in applied ethics, and the analysis of extreme risk. Franklin is the literary executor of David Stove.

In 2008 he set up the Australian Database of Indigenous Violence.

See also


Franklin wrote several books and articles:

  • 1996 and 2011, Proof in Mathematics: An Introduction ISBN 978-1-876192-00-6, originally published as Introduction to Proofs in Mathematics, in 1988.
  • 2001, The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal at the Wayback Machine (archived February 7, 2008) ISBN 978-0-8018-7109-2;
  • 2003, Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia ISBN 978-1-876492-08-3;
  • 2006, Catholic Values and Australian Realities ISBN 978-0-9758015-4-3;
  • 2007, Life to the Full: Rights and Social Justice in Australia (edited) ISBN 978-1-921421-00-6
  • 2009, What Science Knows: And How It Knows It ISBN 978-1-59403-207-3
  • 2014, An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics ISBN 978-1-137-40072-7

Articles (a selection):

  • 1994, The formal sciences discover the philosophers’stone, in: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Volume 25, No. 4, 513–533, Elsevier Science Ltd.
  • 2000, Thomas Kuhn's irrationalism at the Wayback Machine (archived April 15, 2008), in: The New Criterion, Volume 18, No. 10, June 2000.
  • 2000, Diagrammatic reasoning and modelling in the imagination: the secret weapons of the Scientific Revolution, in: 1543 and All That: Image and Word, Change and Continuity in the Proto-Scientific Revolution, ed. G. Freeland & A. Corones, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 53–115.
  • 2003, The representation of context: ideas from artificial intelligence in: Law, Probability and Risk 2, 191–199.
  • 2006, Chapter on 'Artifice and the natural world: Mathematics, logic, technology', in: Cambridge History of Eighteenth Century Philosophy, ed. K. Haakonssen, Cambridge, 2006, 817–853.
  • 2010, The postmodern calculus, New Criterion 29 (1) (Sept 2010), 75-80.

External links

  • James Franklin home page
  • The "Sydney School" in the philosophy of mathematics
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