Stefan Buijsman was born in Leiden in 1995 and obtained an M.A. in Philosophy at Leiden University in 2013. Before that he studied Computer Science and Philosophy, also at Leiden University. He wrote a B.A. Thesis in logic and an M.A. Thesis on assertion.

In 2016, he obtained his PhD at Stockholm University in the philosophy of mathematics. The dissertation aimed to establish the need for a philosophy of mathematics that pays attention to non-experts, and for more attention to empirical work on the psychology of mathematics. Since then, Buijsman has tried to fill part of that need with constructive work bridging the gap between empirical studies of mathematics and its philosophy. As of January 2019, he is the principal investigator of the Vetenskapsrådet project Numbers: the relevance of empirical results for philosophy.

Philosophical Interests: Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Mathematical Practice, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science.


The main topic of his research is the philosophy of mathematics, including work on the epistemology, philosophy of language and metaphysics of mathematics. He is working in particular on the relevance of psychological and pedagogical research on mathematics for the philosophy of mathematics. His VR research project continues in this line, as it tackles questions about reference, epistemology and concept acquisition with respect to numbers from the perspective of empirical results on numerical cognition. He argues that, while empirical results will not conclusively answer these questions, they do limit what possible answers best fit with our mathematical practices.



— "Learning the Natural Numbers as a Child", forthcoming in Noûs.

— "Two roads to the successor axiom", forthcoming in Synthese.

— With Bahram Assadian, "Are the natural numbers fundamentally ordinals?", fortchoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

— "How numerals support new cognitive capacities", forthcoming in Synthese


— "The role of mathematics in Science. Review of H. Field's Science Without Numbers (2nd ed.)", Metascience 26 (3): 507-509.

— "Accessibility of reformulated mathematical content", Synthese 194 (6): 2233-2250.

— "Referring to mathematical objects via definite descriptions", Philosophia Mathematica 25 (1): 128-138.


 "Philosophy of Mathematics for the Masses: Extending the scope of the philosophy of mathematics", PhD Thesis, Stockholm University.

Popular Science

— 2018, "Plussen en Minnen", De Bezige Bij, the Netherlands: a popular science book for adults about the question 'why should you know something about math when you never calculate anything in your daily life?'. To be translated into (at least): English, German, Hungarian, Swedish and Polish. 

— 2018, "Het Rekenrijk", Luitingh-Sijthof, the Netherlands: a children's book about mathematics