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Paul Hasselkuß

I am a PhD student at HHU Düsseldorf, working in the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science. In particular, I am interested in understanding the relationship between the epistemology of mathematics and mathematical practice. Also, I like Wittgenstein.

In my PhD project, I investigate whether mathematical knowledge is ultimately justified on the grounds of sensory experiences (a posteriori) or not (a priori). Although the received view makes a strong case for an a priori classification, in recent years, two challenges have emerged. Naturalism (Quine 1951; Maddy 1990) argues that mathematics is continuous with the natural sciences and, therefore, justified on sensory grounds. Practitionism (Lakatos 1976; Putnam 1979; Kitcher 1984) argues that mathematics, as practised, has many features that could not be part of an a priori science. In my thesis, I will develop an argument against Practitionism by defending a modal reading of the a priori/a posteriori distinction.

More information can be found on my personal homepage.


  • 2022.  “Familiy Resemblance and Context.“ In Platonism. Contributions of the 43rd International Wittgenstein Symposium, edited by Herbert Hrachovec and Jakub Mácha. Kirchberg am Wechsel: ALWS. 64-66.
  • 2021. „Wittgensteins Begriff der Familienähnlichkeit. Interpretationen von 1960 bis heute.“ In Wittgenstein und die Philosophiegeschichte, edited by Dennis Sölch and Bernard Ritter. Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber. 376-429. (with Markus Schrenk)

Full Higher Education

2016 – 20 Master of Arts in Theoretical Philosophy,
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (HHU)
2012 – 16 Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy & History of Arts,

Employment History

2020 – present Research and Teaching Fellow,
Department of Philosophy, HHU
2016 – 20 Graduate Assistant,
Department of Philosophy, HHU
2014 – 16 Student Assistant,
Department of Philosophy, HHU
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