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Evidence, Proofs, and Derivations

ZDM 51 (5):825-834 (2019)

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  1. Bayesian Perspectives on Mathematical Practice.James Franklin - 2020 - Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Mathematical Practice.
    Mathematicians often speak of conjectures as being confirmed by evidence that falls short of proof. For their own conjectures, evidence justifies further work in looking for a proof. Those conjectures of mathematics that have long resisted proof, such as the Riemann hypothesis, have had to be considered in terms of the evidence for and against them. In recent decades, massive increases in computer power have permitted the gathering of huge amounts of numerical evidence, both for conjectures in pure mathematics and (...)
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  • Audience Role in Mathematical Proof Development.Zoe Ashton - 2020 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 26):6251-6275.
    The role of audiences in mathematical proof has largely been neglected, in part due to misconceptions like those in Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca which bar mathematical proofs from bearing reflections of audience consideration. In this paper, I argue that mathematical proof is typically argumentation and that a mathematician develops a proof with his universal audience in mind. In so doing, he creates a proof which reflects the standards of reasonableness embodied in his universal audience. Given this framework, we can better understand (...)
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  • Are Aesthetic Judgements Purely Aesthetic? Testing the Social Conformity Account.Matthew Inglis & Andrew Aberdein - 2020 - ZDM 52 (6):1127-1136.
    Many of the methods commonly used to research mathematical practice, such as analyses of historical episodes or individual cases, are particularly well-suited to generating causal hypotheses, but less well-suited to testing causal hypotheses. In this paper we reflect on the contribution that the so-called hypothetico-deductive method, with a particular focus on experimental studies, can make to our understanding of mathematical practice. By way of illustration, we report an experiment that investigated how mathematicians attribute aesthetic properties to mathematical proofs. We demonstrate (...)
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