I was born and brought up mainly in Toronto, but in five different parts of what is now Toronto. The exception to Toronto was the academic years 1953--55 in the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles County, to which my parents emigrated. I was fortunate to be able to return to Leaside for high school, following Margaret Atwood by a couple of years and preceding Stephen Harper by many. I studied mathematics at Trinity College Toronto in a rigid old-fashioned course called Mathematics and Physics but with the physics courses replace with philosophy. Philosophy remained an interest while I did mathematics. I did an M.A. at Waterloo and a Ph.D. at Southampton and then spent two and a half years at the University of Zambia before coming to the University of Manitoba in 1970, where I was filed in the Computer Science Department. I was there teaching mathematics for eight years before moving to the Department of Applied Mathematics, my intended destination in 1970. I joined St John's College in 1986. After twenty years in Applied Mathematics, ending as head, I moved to Mathematics when the two departments were merged. I was there until I retired in 2011. I was made an emeritus professor in 2016. In 1992 I was asked by its founding editor to take over editing Philosophia Mathematica, which I am still doing. That has been very successful, taken over by Oxford University Press after I published it myself for twelve years and now the leading journal on philosophy of mathematics. Two others are beginning. Imitation is the sincerest compliment.



  • 21 The Spherics of Theodosius, Nathan Sidoli and R.S.D. Thomas, Scientific Writings from the Ancient and Medieval World. Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-367-69535-4 (pbk); 978-0-367-55730-0 (hbk); 978-1-003-14216-4 (ebk).
  • 20 Reprint of [b 45] in The best writing on mathematics 2018, Ed. Mircea Pitici, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018, pp. 33--45.
  • 19 `Reflections on the objectivity of mathematics', in From a heuristic point of view. Essays in honour of Carlo Cellucci. Ed. Emiliano Ippoliti and Cesare Cozzo, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, pp. 241--256.
  • 18 `Acts of geometrical construction in the Spherics of Theodosios', in From Alexandria, through Baghdad: Surveys and Studies in the Ancient Greek and Medieval Islamic Mathematical Sciences in Honor of J.L. Berggren., Ed. Nathan Sidoli and Glen Van Brummelen, Berlin: Springer, 2013, pp. 227--237.
  • 17 Reprint of [b 36] in The best writing on mathematics 2010, Ed. Mircea Pitici, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011, pp. 79--88.
  • 16 `Extreme Science: Mathematics as the Science of Relations as such', in Proof and other dilemmas: Mathematics and philosophy, Ed. Bonnie Gold and Roger Simons, Washington, D.C.: Mathematical Association of America, 2008, pp. 245--263. ISBN 978-0-88385-567-6 (print), 978-1-61444-505-0 (electronic).
  • 15 Reprint of [a 13] as History of Mathematics Sources, Volume 29. Providence: American Mathematical Society and London Mathematical Society, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8218-4072-6 (print), 978-1-4704-1809-0 (online)
  • 14 `Euclid's Non-euclidean Geometry' in Daimonopylai, Ed. R.B. Egan and M.A. Joyal, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Centre for Hellenic Civilization, 2004, pp. 469--478.
  • 13 Euclid's Phaenomena: A translation and study of a Hellenistic treatise in spherical astronomy, J.L. Berggren and R.S.D. Thomas, Sources and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Classical Science, Volume 4, New York: Garland Publishing, 1996. ISBN-10 0-8153-0493-5.

Referred Journals

  • 48 `Why our hand is not the whole deck: Embrace, acceptance, or use of limitations', Journal of Humanistic Mathematics 10 (2020), 93--120.
  • 47`An appreciation of the first book of Spherics', Mathematics Magazine 91 (2018), 3--15.
  • 46 `Editorial', Philosophia Mathematica (3) 25 (2017), 392--393.
  • 45 `Beauty is not all there is to aesthetics in mathematics', Philosophia Mathematica (3) 25 (2017), 116--127.
  • 44 `Colouring isonemal fabrics with more than two colours by thin striping', Contributions to Discrete Mathematics 9 (2014), 67--90, online only.
  • 43 `Colouring isonemal fabrics with more than two colours by thick striping', Contributions to Discrete Mathematics 8 (2013), 38--65, online only.
  • 42 `Is mathematics without metaphysics like morals without metaphysics?', The Mathematical Intelligencer 34 (2012), No. 3, 9--10.
  • 41 `Perfect colourings of isonemal fabrics by thick striping', Bull. Australian Math. Soc. 85 (2012), 325--349.
  • 40 `Perfect colourings of isonemal fabrics by thin striping', Bull. Australian Math. Soc. 83 (2011), 63--86. doi:10.1017/S0004972710001632.
  • 39 `Isonemal Prefabrics with no Axes of Symmetry', Discrete Mathematics 310 (2010), 1307--1324.
  • 38 `Isonemal Prefabrics with Perpendicular Axes of Symmetry', Utilitas Mathematica 82 (2010), 33--70. Online:
  • 37 `Isonemal Prefabrics with Only Parallel Axes of Symmetry', Discrete Mathematics 309 (2009), 2696--2711.
  • 36 `Mathematics is not a game but...', The Mathematical Intelligencer 31 (2009), No. 1, 4--8.