International Conference “Varieties of Mathematical Abstraction“

Organized by Georg Schiemer, Francesca Biagioli and John Wigglesworth within the ERC Starting Grant Project “The Roots of Mathematical Structuralism”

From Wednesday, 1st of August - Friday, 3rd of August
Lecture room 3D (NIG, Universitätsstraße 7)


Mathematical abstraction is a general phenomenon, one that comes in several different varieties.  Different forms of abstraction contribute to the characterization of mathematical structures and the development of mathematical theories. Mathematical abstraction also plays an important role in shaping how we think about and understand empirical phenomena.  It is a process by which we generalize from the properties and relations of particular objects to the abstract, mathematical structure that those objects exhibit.  It is a process that can be iterated to achieve higher levels of abstraction. 
The main objective of this conference is to explore the philosophical significance of mathematical abstraction from different perspectives: metaphysically, epistemologically, historically, and practically.  Particular attention will be devoted to the role of abstraction in mathematical practice.  Specifically, the following research topics will be addressed:

  • Abstraction in mathematical practice
  • Abstraction in the sciences
  • Definition by abstraction
  • Fregean abstraction principles 
  • Historical discussion of any of the above


Free admission. Everybody is welcome. Just kindly register, please send an e-mail to our project administrator: florian.kolowrat@univie.ac.at

Deadline for registration: July 20, 2018


⇒ For further informations and the detailed programme please see the conference homepage

⇒ Event poster