Study explores ethical aspects of the practice and applications of mathematics
Mathematical work can sometimes seem abstract, but the way it is eventually used – or misused – has so far attracted little attention among philosophers and mathematicians. As mathematics is a collective epistemic endeavour, human prejudice, misunderstanding and bias can compromise its epistemic output. The EU-funded VaViM project plans to study the virtues and vices that manifest in injustices and develop an interventionist approach to support concrete recommendations (such as policy advice). VaViM will shed more light on how virtues (e.g. charity) and vices (e.g. egotism) manifest in mathematical knowledge-making. This should reveal common points between the ethics and epistemology of mathematical practices and will open up a discursive field for philosophers and mathematicians to engage with the ethics of mathematics.