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Shulman, Bonnie. What If We Change Our Axioms? A Feminist Inquiry into the Foundations of Mathematics
1996, Configurations, 4 (3): 427-451
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Added by: Franci Mangraviti and Viviane Fairbank

From the Introduction: "Modern mathematics is based on the axiomatic method. We choose axioms and a deductive system---rules for deducing theorems from the axioms. This methodology is designed to guarantee that we can proceed from "obviously" true premises to true conclusions, via inferences which are "obviously" truth-preserving. [...] New and interesting questions arise if we give up as myth the claim that our theorizing can ever be separated out from the complex dynamic of interwoven social/political/historical/cultural forces that shape our experiences and views. Considering mathematics as a set of stories produced according to strict rules one can read these stories for what they tell us about the very real human desires, ambitions, and values of the authors (who understands) and listen to the authors as spokespersons for their cultures (where and when). This paper is the self-respective and self-conscious attempt of a mathematician to retell a story of mathematics that attends to the relationships between who we are and what we know."

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