The Epistemology of Mathematical Necessity

In Peter Chapman, Gem Stapleton, Amirouche Moktefi, Sarah Perez-Kriz & Francesco Bellucci (eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference10th International Conference, Diagrams 2018, Edinburgh, UK, June 18-22, 2018, Proceedings. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. pp. 810-813 (2018)
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Abstract
It seems possible to know that a mathematical claim is necessarily true by inspecting a diagrammatic proof. Yet how does this work, given that human perception seems to just (as Hume assumed) ‘show us particular objects in front of us’? I draw on Peirce’s account of perception to answer this question. Peirce considered mathematics as experimental a science as physics. Drawing on an example, I highlight the existence of a primitive constraint or blocking function in our thinking which we might call ‘the hardness of the mathematical must’.
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Perceiving Necessity.Catherine Legg & James Franklin - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3).
What is a Logical Diagram?Catherine Legg - 2013 - In Sun-Joo Shin & Amirouche Moktefi (eds.), Visual Reasoning with Diagrams. Springer. pp. 1-18.

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