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  1. On the unreasonable reliability of mathematical inference.Brendan Philip Larvor - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-16.
    In, Jeremy Avigad makes a novel and insightful argument, which he presents as part of a defence of the ‘Standard View’ about the relationship between informal mathematical proofs and their corresponding formal derivations. His argument considers the various strategies by means of which mathematicians can write informal proofs that meet mathematical standards of rigour, in spite of the prodigious length, complexity and conceptual difficulty that some proofs exhibit. He takes it that showing that and how such strategies work is a (...)
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  • Diagrams in Intra-Configurational Analysis.Marco Longa Panza - 2021 - Philosophia Scientiae 25:81-102.
    In this paper we would like to attempt to shed some light on the way in which diagrams enter into the practice of ancient Greek geometrical analysis. To this end, we will first distinguish two main forms of this practice, i.e., trans-configurational and intra-configurational. We will then argue that, while in the former diagrams enter in the proof essentially in the same way they enter in canonical synthetic demonstrations, in the latter, they take part in the analytic argument in a (...)
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  • The philosophy of logical practice.Ben Martin - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):267-283.
    Metaphilosophy, Volume 53, Issue 2-3, Page 267-283, April 2022.
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  • Mathematical Explanation in Practice.Ellen Lehet - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (5):553-574.
    The connection between understanding and explanation has recently been of interest to philosophers. Inglis and Mejía-Ramos (Synthese, 2019) propose that within mathematics, we should accept a functional account of explanation that characterizes explanations as those things that produce understanding. In this paper, I start with the assumption that this view of mathematical explanation is correct and consider what we can consequently learn about mathematical explanation. I argue that this view of explanation suggests that we should shift the question of explanation (...)
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  • From Euclidean geometry to knots and nets.Brendan Larvor - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2715-2736.
    This paper assumes the success of arguments against the view that informal mathematical proofs secure rational conviction in virtue of their relations with corresponding formal derivations. This assumption entails a need for an alternative account of the logic of informal mathematical proofs. Following examination of case studies by Manders, De Toffoli and Giardino, Leitgeb, Feferman and others, this paper proposes a framework for analysing those informal proofs that appeal to the perception or modification of diagrams or to the inspection or (...)
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  • From Euclidean geometry to knots and nets.Brendan Larvor - 2017 - Synthese:1-22.
    This paper assumes the success of arguments against the view that informal mathematical proofs secure rational conviction in virtue of their relations with corresponding formal derivations. This assumption entails a need for an alternative account of the logic of informal mathematical proofs. Following examination of case studies by Manders, De Toffoli and Giardino, Leitgeb, Feferman and others, this paper proposes a framework for analysing those informal proofs that appeal to the perception or modification of diagrams or to the inspection or (...)
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  • Material representations in mathematical research practice.Mikkel W. Johansen & Morten Misfeldt - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3721-3741.
    Mathematicians’ use of external representations, such as symbols and diagrams, constitutes an important focal point in current philosophical attempts to understand mathematical practice. In this paper, we add to this understanding by presenting and analyzing how research mathematicians use and interact with external representations. The empirical basis of the article consists of a qualitative interview study we conducted with active research mathematicians. In our analysis of the empirical material, we primarily used the empirically based frameworks provided by distributed cognition and (...)
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  • Entering the valley of formalism: trends and changes in mathematicians’ publication practice—1885 to 2015.Mikkel Willum Johansen & Josefine Lomholt Pallavicini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Over the last century, there have been considerable variations in the frequency of use and types of diagrams used in mathematical publications. In order to track these changes, we developed a method enabling large-scale quantitative analysis of mathematical publications to investigate the number and types of diagrams published in three leading mathematical journals in the period from 1885 to 2015. The results show that diagrams were relatively common at the beginning of the period under investigation. However, beginning in 1910, they (...)
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  • On the heuristic power of mathematical representations.Emiliano Ippoliti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-28.
    I argue that mathematical representations can have heuristic power since their construction can be ampliative. To this end, I examine how a representation introduces elements and properties into the represented object that it does not contain at the beginning of its construction, and how it guides the manipulations of the represented object in ways that restructure its components by gradually adding new pieces of information to produce a hypothesis in order to solve a problem.In addition, I defend an ‘inferential’ approach (...)
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  • What are mathematical diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    Although traditionally neglected, mathematical diagrams have recently begun to attract attention from philosophers of mathematics. By now, the literature includes several case studies investigating the role of diagrams both in discovery and justification. Certain preliminary questions have, however, been mostly bypassed. What are diagrams exactly? Are there different types of diagrams? In the scholarly literature, the term “mathematical diagram” is used in diverse ways. I propose a working definition that carves out the phenomena that are of most importance for a (...)
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  • Reconciling Rigor and Intuition.Silvia De Toffoli - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1783-1802.
    Criteria of acceptability for mathematical proofs are field-dependent. In topology, though not in most other domains, it is sometimes acceptable to appeal to visual intuition to support inferential steps. In previous work :829–842, 2014; Lolli, Panza, Venturi From logic to practice, Springer, Berlin, 2015; Larvor Mathematical cultures, Springer, Berlin, 2016) my co-author and I aimed at spelling out how topological proofs work on their own terms, without appealing to formal proofs which might be associated with them. In this article, I (...)
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  • “Free rides” in Mathematics.Jessica Carter - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10475-10498.
    Representations, in particular diagrammatic representations, allegedly contribute to new insights in mathematics. Here I explore the phenomenon of a “free ride” and to what extent it occurs in mathematics. A free ride, according to Shimojima, is the property of some representations that whenever certain pieces of information have been represented then a new piece of consequential information can be read off for free. I will take Shimojima’s framework as a tool to analyse the occurrence and properties of them. I consider (...)
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  • Reliability of mathematical inference.Jeremy Avigad - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7377-7399.
    Of all the demands that mathematics imposes on its practitioners, one of the most fundamental is that proofs ought to be correct. It has been common since the turn of the twentieth century to take correctness to be underwritten by the existence of formal derivations in a suitable axiomatic foundation, but then it is hard to see how this normative standard can be met, given the differences between informal proofs and formal derivations, and given the inherent fragility and complexity of (...)
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  • Philosophy of mathematical practice: A primer for mathematics educators.Yacin Hamami & Rebecca Morris - 2020 - ZDM Mathematics Education 52:1113–1126.
    In recent years, philosophical work directly concerned with the practice of mathematics has intensified, giving rise to a movement known as the philosophy of mathematical practice . In this paper we offer a survey of this movement aimed at mathematics educators. We first describe the core questions philosophers of mathematical practice investigate as well as the philosophical methods they use to tackle them. We then provide a selective overview of work in the philosophy of mathematical practice covering topics including the (...)
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  • Diagrams.Sun-Joo Shin - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Category theory.Jean-Pierre Marquis - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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