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Towards a theory of mathematical argument

In Andrew Aberdein & Ian J. Dove (eds.), Foundations of Science. Springer. pp. 291--308 (2013)

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  1. Mathematical Wit and Mathematical Cognition.Andrew Aberdein - 2013 - Topics in Cognitive Science 5 (2):231-250.
    The published works of scientists often conceal the cognitive processes that led to their results. Scholars of mathematical practice must therefore seek out less obvious sources. This article analyzes a widely circulated mathematical joke, comprising a list of spurious proof types. An account is proposed in terms of argumentation schemes: stereotypical patterns of reasoning, which may be accompanied by critical questions itemizing possible lines of defeat. It is argued that humor is associated with risky forms of inference, which are essential (...)
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  • The Parallel Structure of Mathematical Reasoning.Andrew Aberdein - 2012 - In Alison Pease & Brendan Larvor (eds.), Proceedings of the Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition Ii: A Symposium at the Aisb/Iacap World Congress 2012. Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour. pp. 7--14.
    This paper proposes an account of mathematical reasoning as parallel in structure: the arguments which mathematicians use to persuade each other of their results comprise the argumentational structure; the inferential structure is composed of derivations which offer a formal counterpart to these arguments. Some conflicts about the foundations of mathematics correspond to disagreements over which steps should be admissible in the inferential structure. Similarly, disagreements over the admissibility of steps in the argumentational structure correspond to different views about mathematical practice. (...)
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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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  • Argumentation Theory for Mathematical Argument.Joseph Corneli, Ursula Martin, Dave Murray-Rust, Gabriela Rino Nesin & Alison Pease - 2019 - Argumentation 33 (2):173-214.
    To adequately model mathematical arguments the analyst must be able to represent the mathematical objects under discussion and the relationships between them, as well as inferences drawn about these objects and relationships as the discourse unfolds. We introduce a framework with these properties, which has been used to analyse mathematical dialogues and expository texts. The framework can recover salient elements of discourse at, and within, the sentence level, as well as the way mathematical content connects to form larger argumentative structures. (...)
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  • Proofs, Mathematical Practice and Argumentation.Begoña Carrascal - 2015 - Argumentation 29 (3):305-324.
    In argumentation studies, almost all theoretical proposals are applied, in general, to the analysis and evaluation of argumentative products, but little attention has been paid to the creative process of arguing. Mathematics can be used as a clear example to illustrate some significant theoretical differences between mathematical practice and the products of it, to differentiate the distinct components of the arguments, and to emphasize the need to address the different types of argumentative discourse and argumentative situation in the practice. I (...)
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  • Dialogue Types, Argumentation Schemes, and Mathematical Practice: Douglas Walton and Mathematics.Andrew Aberdein - 2021 - Journal of Applied Logics 8 (1):159-182.
    Douglas Walton’s multitudinous contributions to the study of argumentation seldom, if ever, directly engage with argumentation in mathematics. Nonetheless, several of the innovations with which he is most closely associated lend themselves to improving our understanding of mathematical arguments. I concentrate on two such innovations: dialogue types (§1) and argumentation schemes (§2). I argue that both devices are much more applicable to mathematical reasoning than may be commonly supposed.
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  • Rationale of the Mathematical Joke.Andrew Aberdein - 2010 - In Alison Pease, Markus Guhe & Alan Smaill (eds.), Proceedings of AISB 2010 Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition. AISB. pp. 1-6.
    A widely circulated list of spurious proof types may help to clarify our understanding of informal mathematical reasoning. An account in terms of argumentation schemes is proposed.
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  • Non-Deductive Logic in Mathematics.James Franklin - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1):1-18.
    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 Fermat's Last Theorem and the Riemann Hypothesis, have had to be considered in terms of the evidence for and against them. It is argued here that it is not adequate to describe the relation of evidence to hypothesis as `subjective', `heuristic' or (...)
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  • Objects and Processes in Mathematical Practice.Uwe V. Riss - 2011 - Foundations of Science 16 (4):337-351.
    In this paper it is argued that the fundamental difference of the formal and the informal position in the philosophy of mathematics results from the collision of an object and a process centric perspective towards mathematics. This collision can be overcome by means of dialectical analysis, which shows that both perspectives essentially depend on each other. This is illustrated by the example of mathematical proof and its formal and informal nature. A short overview of the employed materialist dialectical approach is (...)
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  • Observations on Sick Mathematics.Andrew Aberdein - 2010 - In Bart van Kerkhove, Jean Paul van Bendegem & Jonas de Vuyst (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Mathematical Practice. College Publications. pp. 269--300.
    This paper argues that new light may be shed on mathematical reasoning in its non-pathological forms by careful observation of its pathologies. The first section explores the application to mathematics of recent work on fallacy theory, specifically the concept of an ‘argumentation scheme’: a characteristic pattern under which many similar inferential steps may be subsumed. Fallacies may then be understood as argumentation schemes used inappropriately. The next section demonstrates how some specific mathematical fallacies may be characterized in terms of argumentation (...)
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