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Introduction to the Semiology of Mathematical Practice

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Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice
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The philosophy and history of mathematical practices have brought the study of mathematical language and signs to the forefront of contemporary mathematical thought. However, despite the fruitfulness of this research trend, a comprehensive and unified account of its various aspects and the diverse approaches taken to explore it remains elusive. Recognizing this gap, we have undertaken the task of editing the present section of the Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice as a much-needed remedy. Before providing an overview of the various contributions to the section, this introduction provides some context for the subject matter and a few conceptual clarifications.

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  1. 1.

    For a more comprehensive approach, the reader can consult Barthes (1988); Sebeok (2001); Robering et al. (1996).

  2. 2.

    The fact that semiologies are defined as having “non-scientific” semiotics as objects should not lead us to assume that mathematics cannot be studied as a science from a semiological perspective. For Hjelmslev, a “scientific semiotic” is merely a semiotic organized as a specific analytical procedure. If mathematics were to fall into this category, its study as a sign system would be termed a “meta-(scientific semiotic)” according to Hjelmslev’s view (cf. Hjelmslev 1975, Df. 41,46).


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I want to thank Jeremy Avigad, Karine Chemla, Ladislav Kvasz, Reviel Netz, Anna Kiel Steensen, Lucien Vinciguerra, Roy Wagner and David Waszek for their generosity, patience, and invaluable contribution. I am deeply thankful to all the anonymous reviewers for their careful work, dedication, and constructive advice. Last but not least, I wish to express my gratitude to Bharath Sriraman for his constant support, comprehension and trust.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 839730

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Correspondence to Juan Luis Gastaldi .

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Gastaldi, J.L. (2024). Introduction to the Semiology of Mathematical Practice. In: Sriraman, B. (eds) Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-19071-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-19071-2

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Chapter history

  1. Latest

    Introduction to the Semiology of Mathematical Practice
    08 February 2024


  2. Original

    Introduction to the Semiology of Mathematical Practice
    07 October 2023