Mary Tiles

Mary Tiles (born 1946[1]) is a philosopher and historian of mathematics and science. As of 2008 she is professor and chair in the philosophy department of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.[2]


At Bristol University Tiles obtained her B.A. in philosophy and mathematics 1967 and her Ph.D. in philosophy 1973, followed by a B.Phil. in philosophy 1974 at Oxford and a M.A. 1978 at Cambridge. After positions as lecturer and visiting associate professor at different institution, Tiles became associate professor of philosophy at University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1989 and full professor 1992.[3]


Tiles' area of work is primarily philosophy and history of logic, mathematics and science, with a special emphasis on French contributions to this area, e.g. by Gaston Bachelard, Georges Canguilhem, Bruno Latour, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Serres, Jean-Claude Martzloff, Karine Chemla, Catherine Jami, and François Jullien.[3]

Arguably her best-known publication is the 1989 book The Philosophy of Set Theory: An Introduction to Cantor's Paradise. Despite some criticisms, for its lack of technical detail and correctness, and for pressing the author's philosophical agenda on its readers,[4] it can be considered as a standard textbook for non-mathematicians.



  1. Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. Faculty of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
  3. 1 2 CV at
  4. Review by Irving H. Anellis in Mod. Log. Volume 2, Number 4 (1992), 392-404. online at Project Euclid
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