Proofs as Spatio-Temporal Processes

Philosophia Scientiae 18:111-125 (2014)
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Abstract

The concept of proof can be studied from many different perspectives. Many types of proofs have been developed throughout history such as apodictic, dialectical, formal, constructive and non-constructive proofs, proofs by visualisation, assumption-based proofs, computer-generated proofs, etc. In this paper, we develop Goguen’s general concept of proof-events and the methodology of algebraic semiotics, in order to define the concept of mathematical style, which characterizes the proofs produced by different cultures, schools or scholars. In our view, style can be defined as a semiotic meta-code that depends on the underlying mode of signification (semiosis), the selected code and the underlying semiotic space and determines the individual mode of integration (selection, combination, blending) into a narrative structure (proof). Finally, we examine certain historical types of styles of mathematical proofs, to elucidate our viewpoint.

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Ioannis Vandoulakis
Open University of Cyprus

References found in this work

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