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What are mathematical diagrams?

Synthese 200 (2):1-29 (2022)

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  1. Meditating and Inquiring with Imagination: Leibniz, Lambert, and Kant on the Cognitive Value of Diagrams.Lucia Oliveri - 2024 - History and Philosophy of Logic 45:1-19.
    Reasoning with diagrams is considered to be a peculiar form of reasoning. Diagrams are often associated with imagistic representations conveyed by spatial arrangements of lines, points, figures, or letters that can be manipulated to obtain knowledge on a subject matter. Reasoning with diagrams is not just ‘peculiar’ because reasoners use spatially arranged characters to obtain knowledge – diagrams apparently have cognitive surplus: they enable a quasi-intuitive form of knowledge. The present paper analyses the issue of diagrams’ cognitive value by enquiring (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Mathematical Diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23 (1).
    Mathematical diagrams are frequently used in contemporary mathematics. They are, however, widely seen as not contributing to the justificatory force of proofs: they are considered to be either mere illustrations or shorthand for non-diagrammatic expressions. Moreover, when they are used inferentially, they are seen as threatening the reliability of proofs. In this paper, I examine certain examples of diagrams that resist this type of dismissive characterization. By presenting two diagrammatic proofs, one from topology and one from algebra, I show that (...)
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  • What Logical Evidence Could not be.Matteo Baggio - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (5):2559–2587.
    By playing a crucial role in settling open issues in the philosophical debate about logical consequence, logical evidence has become the holy grail of inquirers investigating the domain of logic. However, despite its indispensable role in this endeavor, logical evidence has retained an aura of mystery. Indeed, there seems to be a great disharmony in conceiving the correct nature and scope of logical evidence among philosophers. In this paper, I examine four widespread conceptions of logical evidence to argue that all (...)
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  • Visual Proofs as Counterexamples to the Standard View of Informal Mathematical Proofs?Simon Weisgerber - 2022 - In Giardino V., Linker S., Burns R., Bellucci F., Boucheix Jm & Viana P. (eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference. Diagrams 2022. Springer, Cham. pp. 37-53.
    A passage from Jody Azzouni’s article “The Algorithmic-Device View of Informal Rigorous Mathematical Proof” in which he argues against Hamami and Avigad’s standard view of informal mathematical proof with the help of a specific visual proof of 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16+⋯=1 is critically examined. By reference to mathematicians’ judgments about visual proofs in general, it is argued that Azzouni’s critique of Hamami and Avigad’s account is not valid. Nevertheless, by identifying a necessary condition for the visual proof to be considered a proper proof (...)
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  • What is Mathematical Rigor?John Burgess & Silvia De Toffoli - 2022 - Aphex 25:1-17.
    Rigorous proof is supposed to guarantee that the premises invoked imply the conclusion reached, and the problem of rigor may be described as that of bringing together the perspectives of formal logic and mathematical practice on how this is to be achieved. This problem has recently raised a lot of discussion among philosophers of mathematics. We survey some possible solutions and argue that failure to understand its terms properly has led to misunderstandings in the literature.
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