Call for papers : “The Philosophy of Albert Lautman”

Call for papers : “The Philosophy of Albert Lautman”

In progress

Thematic volume of the Annals of Mathematics and Philosophy M×Φ

Guest editors:

Frédéric Jaëck (Aix-Marseille University)


Jean-Jacques Szczeciniarz (University of Paris)

Submission deadline: February 1, 2022

Date of notification: May 1, 2022

Final version: August 1, 2022

English version (for articles submitted in another language) September 15, 2022.

Albert Lautman developed, in the course of his short career, a personal and committed mathematical philosophy. Committed sometimes against conceptions that are too rigid or too abstract and that obliterate part of the richness of mathematics, but also committed by making proposals that dialogue with a long philosophical tradition, or with his elders Léon Brunschwicg or Jean Cavaillès. Lautman is one of those philosophers who were not afraid to inform themselves about the mathematics of their time and to draw on it in order to forge a philosophical thought that was in touch with a complex material.

It is on the place he was able to find to maintain an authentic philosophical questioning while bringing to light mathematics of difficult access of his time that we would like to insist. His intellectual friendship and his work with Jacques Herbrand made possible his positioning and a specific relationship with the formalist currents of his time.

It seemed to us, as a conference dedicated to Lautman under the patronage of the association of the friends of Cavaillès is scheduled for the autumn, that there was a possibility to take advantage of his ideas and to back them up with proposals for a philosophy (of) mathematics that are consequential for our time.

This special issue aims to bring philosophers and mathematicians into dialogue with a new perspective on the mathematical work that was at the forefront at the time Lautman was writing, and strengthened by recent advances in philosophy and mathematics.

There could also be an opportunity here to highlight the context in which Lautman elaborated his philosophical proposals : the link that can be woven with the ideas of his contemporaries on the side of philosophy, but also on the side of mathematics. Another dimension would be to better understand the mathematical material summoned by Lautman, often in a rapid way and remaining on the threshold of the important theories of his time. These theories, which cover a vast mathematical field in his texts, are often difficult and were called upon for important extensions and transformations. A cross-look or collaboration between philosophers and mathematicians could uncover the role of the mathematical ideas evoked by Lautman in an original philosophical proposal that would discuss (with) or extend his work.

Manuscripts will be submitted to the journal in the manner explained in the instructions to authors, valid for both thematic and open issues.