Mathematics and Philosophy

Statue of Plato

Philosophy has always looked for truths that cannot be doubted, 'clear and distinct' ideas, as Descartes called them. A possible example of such a truth is 2+2=4. As this example shows, Mathematics might be an activity that generates such truths.

Both Mathematics and Philosophy (mainly in the analytic tradition) try to create well-defined structures and explore these structures by means of precise logical deductions.

Students of this joint course will study the two disciplines separately. A bridge between the two subjects will be supplied by studying logic.

Cross-fertilization between the two disciplines will be encouraged. This can happen through the study of the philosophy of mathematics, and through the application of logic (and other areas of mathematics such as probability) to philosophical problems.

Admissions criteria

A-levels: A*A*A with the A*s in Mathematics and Further Mathematics (if taken).

Oxford University Department Website
Mathematical InstituteFaculty of Philosophy
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For more information contact the admissions office:

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 276522