Even though formal logic plays a major role in contemporary philosophy of mathematics, it is, on reflection, not so clear what help it really can be in answering some of the more large scale philosophical questions. This is particularly true if one conceives of the philosophy of mathematics not as a revisionist and normative project, but one that is descriptive and analytical of mathematical practice. Many of the crucial large scale philosophical questions seem to require investigation closer to linguistics, psychology and history rather than logic and mathematical proof. I will discuss some questions for which this is indeed the case, and where logic only has a secondary role to play. However, assuming things turn out a certain way in these areas, there is also a role for logic and mathematical proof in the philosophy of mathematics that goes beyond this and makes a positive contribution to the answer of large scale philosophical questions. This role is congenial with some of Hilbert's more ambitious philosophical ideas. |

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