Intereting Posts

Set of Finite Subsets of an Infinite Set (Enderton, Chapter 6.32)
Proving that $\left(\mathbb Q:\mathbb Q\right)=2^n$ for distinct primes $p_i$.
Calculation mistake in variation of length functional?
Is there a non-projective submodule of a free module?
$(\mathbb{Z}/2^n \mathbb{Z})^*$ is not cyclic Group for $n\geq 3$
Geometric construction of hyperbolic trigonometric functions
Maximal ideals in the ring of real functions on $$
Maximizing a linear function over an ellipsoid
$f$ continuous, monotone, what do we know about differentiability?
Which translation to read of Euclid Elements
Finite sum of reciprocal odd integers
Odds of Winning the Lottery Using the Same Numbers Repeatedly Better/Worse?
Differentiability implying continuity
Equicontinuity on a compact metric space turns pointwise to uniform convergence
When does $\wp$ take real values?

Where can I learn more about the implications, meta discussions, history and the foundations of mathematics?

Is Russell’s *Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy* a good start?

- What are some interesting sole exceptions or counterexamples?
- Do you know any almost identities?
- Proof writing: how to write a clear induction proof?
- Examples of fundamental groups
- Proofs that every mathematician should know?
- Open problems in General Relativity

- Books Preparatory for Putnam Exam
- Good math books to discover stuff by yourself
- Are there any open mathematical puzzles?
- Can someone give me an example of a challenging proof by induction?
- Beginning of Romance
- Surprising applications of cohomology
- Topology textbook with a solution manual
- Gathering books on Lorentzian Geometry
- Honest application of category theory
- What happens after the cardinality $\mathfrak{c}$?

*Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings*, edited by Paul Benacerraf and Hilary Putnam, is one of the standard essay collections, and introduces the classical schools: formalism, intuitionism and logicism.

But there are newer points of view. Personally, I liked *The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge* by Philip Kitcher because of its sophisticated historical point of view. Kitcher’s approach is empiricist.

Another interesting approach is Charles Chihara’s structuralism, as presented in his book *Constructibility and Mathematical Existence*.

This next one is not a book but it is famous enough that I think it should be mentioned

here. With respect to axiomatic set theory and philosophy, there is the two-part essay

entitled “Believing the Axioms” by Penelope Maddy:

Maddy, Penelope (Jun. 1988). “Believing the Axioms, I”. Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (2): 481–511.

Maddy, Penelope (Sept. 1988). “Believing the Axioms, II”. Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (3): 736–764.

If you are interested in the foundations of set theory in particular, there is the classic

book *Foundations of Set Theory* by Abraham Fraenkel, Y. Bar-Hillel and A. Levy. The

standard system of axiomatic set theory ZF is named after Ernst Zermelo and Abraham Fraenkel.

I think there are probably some good introduction to “classical” philosophy of math that I’m not aware of, but what I find most interesting are modern treatments of philosophy of math.

Lakoff and Nunez’s book called *Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being* uses modern cognitive science to discuss philosophy of math.

David Corfield’s *Toward a Philosophy of Real Mathematics* is a fascinating look at what mathematicians actually do (as opposed to most philosophy of math done by philosophers that don’t know much math).

I have lots of other suggestions, but I’ll let other people have their say as well (and moreover this wasn’t quite what you were asking for).

Russell’s book is probably not what you’re looking for. Firstly, it is mostly his opinions on the subject, and some of his arguments are surprisingly weak (as I see them anyways). Here is the online version of Russels book. Looking at the content list, it does not seem what you are looking for.

Personally I can recommend “The Mathematical Experience”, by Davis and Hersh. http://www.amazon.com/Mathematical-Experience-Phillip-J-Davis/dp/0395929687 It presents some of the main philosophical views on mathematics. (among other things)

When I took a course on the philosophy of mathematics, our textbooks were Shapiro’s *Thinking about mathematics* and Parsons’ *Mathematical Thought and its Objects*. I recommend them both.

Not a book, but a very scholarly overview article on the Philosophy of Mathematics from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Try also the books by Wilder and Lakatos.

Other’s have suggested very good books for the history and the foundations part of your question, so I will just mention one which I think is a great fun read and addresses some of the “meta discussions” you asked about: Gian-Carlo Rota’s Indiscrete Thoughts. Rota is, to me at least, quite interesting as his book not only gives lots of nice bits of Math history and anecdotes about all of these mathematicians that you might otherwise only think about as names attached to theorems, but also because his position as a philosopher and mathematician makes him talk about ideas related to math that I have never seen discussed elsewhere (the chapters “the pernicious influence of mathematics on philosophy” and “the pernicious influence of philosophy on mathematics” are good examples of this).

Also, of course, Rota is known as quite a character and spends a great deal of this book living up to that–taking joy in arguing against ideas in math and philosophy he doesn’t agree with, and in telling slightly off color stories about Ulam and von Neumann, which does make the book a great deal of fun.

“What is Mathematics, Really?” by Hersh, though the main thrust of his own views is social-constructivism, gives a great summary of the main schools of thought (including the classics of platonism, logicism, formalism and intuitionism). (of course, a lot of philosophy of mathematics is not covered by a ‘school’)

Since no one mentioned it,

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic (Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy) by Stewart Shapiro

I’m surprised that this one hasn’t been mentioned yet:

- Saunders Mac Lane: Mathematics, Form and Function

Also:

- Michael Potter: Set Theory and its Philosophy

And a classic:

- Hermann Weyl: Philosophie der Mathematik und Naturwissenschaft [also available in English]

Morris Kline : Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern Times, three volumes

- Convergence of a sequence in two different $L_p$ spaces
- Any nonabelian group of order $6$ is isomorphic to $S_3$?
- Explain why $E(X) = \int_0^\infty (1-F_X (t)) \, dt$ for every nonnegative random variable $X$
- Cardinality of the set of all real functions of real variable
- How to use Mathematical Induction to prove $\frac{1}{1 \cdot 2} + \frac{1}{2 \cdot 3} + \cdots + \frac{1}{n(n + 1)} = \frac{n}{n + 1}$?
- simplify $(a_1 + a_2 +a_3+… +a_n)^m$
- Number of roots of a polynomial over a finite field
- Group covered by finitely many cosets
- Proving $(p \to (q \to r)) \to ((p \to q) \to (p \to r))$
- Center of Heisenberg group- Dummit and Foote, pg 54, 2.2
- Alternative definitions of stochastic processes?
- Inequality with four positive integers looking for upper bound
- Recurrence Relation for the nth Cantor Set
- Do the Laurent polynomials over $\mathbb{Z}$ form a principal ideal domain?
- Prove Transformation is one-to-one iff it carries linearly independent subsets of $V$ onto Lin. Ind. subsets of $W$.