Mathematical Gettier Cases and Their Implications

Abstract

Let mathematical justification be the kind of justification obtained when a mathematician provides a proof of a theorem. Are Gettier cases possible for this kind of justification? At first sight we might think not: The standard for mathematical justification is proof and, since proof is bound at the hip with truth, there is no possibility of having an epistemically lucky justification of a true mathematical proposition. In this paper, I argue that Gettier cases are possible (and indeed actual) in mathematical reasoning. By analysing these cases, I suggest that the Gettier phenomenon indicates some upshots for actual mathematical practice.

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Neil Barton
Universität Konstanz

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