Philosophy and Religious Studies at the University of Toledo

Faculty & Staff

Madeline M. Muntersbjorn
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Faculty Bio

Madeline Muntersbjorn is an Associate Professor of Philosophy. She received her Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Pittsburgh's History and Philosophy of Science Department. Her primary research area is the history and philosophy of mathematics, with a focus on the development of the calculus in the seventeenth-century. The central question guiding her research is: "What role do representational innovations play in the growth of mathematical knowledge?" Currently, she studies Pierre de Fermat's incorporation of algebraic reasoning and symbolism in his solution of tangent, rectification, and quadrature problems.

Her research suggests that mathematical objects are emergent phenomena, similar to natural kinds. They begin as tacit insights responsible for increased problem-solving generality. Representational innovations are often introduced to make these implicit features of successful mathematical reasoning explicit. Introduced primarily as heuristic aids, these new notations are taken to refer to mathematical objects as the scope of mathematics grows. On her view, mathematics is neither created nor discovered. Rather, mathematics is cultivated. For more, see "Naturalism, Notation, and the Metaphysics of Mathematics," in Philosophia Mathematica (3) Vol. 7 (1999), pp. 178-199.

Atthe University of Toledo, she teaches a variety of courses: Introduction to Logic [PHIL 1010], Introduction to Philosophy [PHIL 2200], Symbolic Logic [PHIL/MATH 3000], Philosophy of Biology [PHIL 3300], Science and Society [PHIL 3310], Philosophy of Mathematics [PHIL 3320], Philosophy of Natural Science [PHIL 4300/5300]. In 1997, she won a grant from the Center for Teaching Excellence to develop the interdisciplinary course, The Self in Science-Fact and Science-Fiction.



Last Updated: 6/23/21