Citations of:
Forms and Roles of Diagrams in Knot Theory
Erkenntnis 79 (4):829842 (2014)
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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 (...) 

The objective of this article is twofold. First, a methodological issue is addressed. It is pointed out that even if philosophers of mathematics have been recently more and more concerned with the practice of mathematics, there is still a need for a sharp deﬁnition of what the targets of a philosophy of mathematical practice should be. Three possible objects of inquiry are put forward: (1) the collective dimension of the practice of mathematics; (2) the cognitives capacities requested to the practitioners; (...) 

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 (...) 

Criteria of acceptability for mathematical proofs are fielddependent. 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 coauthor 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 (...) 

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 (...) 

The connection between understanding and explanation has recently been of interest to philosophers. Inglis and MejíaRamos (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 (...) 



The role of audiences in mathematical proof has largely been neglected, in part due to misconceptions like those in Perelman and OlbrechtsTyteca 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 (...) 

This paper inquires the ways in which paper folding constitutes a mathematical practice and may prompt a mathematical culture. To do this, we first present and investigate the common mathematical activities shared by this culture, i.e. we present mathematical paper folding as a material reasoning practice. We show that the patterns of mathematical activity observed in mathematical paper folding are, at least since the end of the nineteenth century, sufficiently stable to be considered as a practice. Moreover, we will argue (...) 

Charlotte Angas Scott was an internationally renowned geometer, the first British woman to earn a doctorate in mathematics, and the chair of the Bryn Mawr mathematics department for forty years. There she helped shape the burgeoning mathematics community in the United States. Scott often motivated her research as providing a “geometric treatment” of results that had previously been derived algebraically. The adjective “geometric” likely entailed many things for Scott, from her careful illustration of diagrams to her choice of references and (...) 

The aim of this article is to investigate speciﬁc aspects connected with visualization in the practice of a mathematical subﬁeld: lowdimensional topology. Through a case study, it will be established that visualization can play an epistemic role. The background assumption is that the consideration of the actual practice of mathematics is relevant to address epistemological issues. It will be shown that in lowdimensional topology, justiﬁcations can be based on sequences of pictures. Three theses will be defended. First, the representations used (...) 

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 (...) 

The aim of this article is to investigate the roles of commutative diagrams (CDs) in a speciﬁc mathematical domain, and to unveil the reasons underlying their effectiveness as a mathematical notation; this will be done through a case study. It will be shown that CDs do not depict spatial relations, but represent mathematical structures. CDs will be interpreted as a hybrid notation that goes beyond the traditional bipartition of mathematical representations into diagrammatic and linguistic. It will be argued that one (...) 

As is well known, it was only in 1926 that a comprehensive mathematical theory of braids was published—that of Emil Artin. That said, braids had been researched mathematically before Artin’s treatment: Alexandre Theophile Vandermonde, Carl Friedrich Gauß and Peter Guthrie Tait had all attempted to introduce notations for braids. Nevertheless, it was only Artin’s approach that proved to be successful. Though the historical reasons for the success of Artin’s approach are known, a question arises as to whether other approaches to (...) 

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 (...) 





