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Intellectual generosity and the reward structure of mathematics

Morris, Rebecca (2020) Intellectual generosity and the reward structure of mathematics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Prominent mathematician William Thurston was praised by other mathematicians for his intellectual generosity. But what does it mean to say Thurston was intellectually generous? And is being intellectually generous beneficial? To answer these questions I turn to virtue epistemology and, in particular, Roberts and Wood's (2007) analysis of intellectual generosity. By appealing to Thurston's own writings and interviewing mathematicians who knew and worked with him, I argue that Roberts and Wood's analysis nicely captures the sense in which he was intellectually generous. I then argue that intellectual generosity is beneficial because it counteracts negative effects of the reward structure of mathematics that can stymie mathematical progress.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Morris, Rebeccaemail@rebeccaleamorris.com0000-0002-1216-6900
Keywords: Virtue epistemology; intellectual virtues; intellectual generosity; mathematical practice
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Values
Depositing User: Dr Rebecca Lea Morris
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2020 19:12
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2020 19:12
Item ID: 17057
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Epistemology
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Values
Date: 7 April 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17057

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