I am someone with a good background in Logic and a decent one in Set Theory. I am pursuing a PhD in Philosophy but would very much like to increase my knowledge of mathematics (pure mathematics in particular).

Would a question soliciting advice on how best to do this, and what sorts of courses to take and books to read be appropriate in this forum?


2 Answers 2


While it may be very localized, I think it would be fine for the site. It may warrant being Community-Wiki though.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response. I think I'll wait until a few more people have the chance to weigh in either by upvoting your answer or giving their own before posting my question, but your answer is quite encouraging. $\endgroup$
    – Dennis
    Jan 8, 2013 at 22:56

Since you are in a PhD program, I'm going to guess that the mathematics courses you would take are also offered by the same academic institution. If this is correct, then instead of Math.SE you should talk to an academic advisor of the Mathematics Department at your institution. They know the courses that they offer inside out. Math.SE users do not. An advisor can talk to you at some length to find what math courses you took as an undergraduate and what you retained from them. Math.SE users cannot.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't doubt this, and I do plan on doing that when the semester begins. My thought behind asking here, though, would be to get a broader base of input. I can ask the one advisor at my institution, sure, but maybe his views on the appropriate sequence of courses are not the norm. Maybe he really values one branch of mathematics and doesn't much care for some others. I'm not assuming that the advice this advisor would give is bound to be bad, I'm just operating under the (I hope not unreasonable) assumption that more information from more people would be a good thing. $\endgroup$
    – Dennis
    Jan 9, 2013 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ There is a lot of maths relevant to philosophy (the foundations of set theory, for example), but an arbitrary mathematician will not know the details about what is and is not relevant. It is, perhaps, better to find out the relevant areas and then work out what courses the maths department at the uni offers, making up the rest through reading. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    Jan 9, 2013 at 10:56

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