On the Impact of Philosophical Conceptions on Mathematics Research: The Case of Condillac and Babbage

Eduardo L. Ortiz


The possible impact of general philosophical ideas on the choice of research subject in mathematics is the topic of this paper. I examine a specific case in which the philosophical background is provided by a discussion on the role of language in science, which is associated with the work of Condillac. The area of mathematics considered is functional equations, a difficult chapter of mathematical analysis that began to be developed between the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. The researcher is Charles Babbage (1791-1871), a young British mathematician deeply interested in the recent work of French mathematicians and philosophers of science. 

Palabras clave

philosophy; mathematics; Condillac; Babbage

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