How to think about informal proofs

Synthese 187 (2):715-730 (2012)
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Abstract

It is argued in this study that (i) progress in the philosophy of mathematical practice requires a general positive account of informal proof; (ii) the best candidate is to think of informal proofs as arguments that depend on their matter as well as their logical form; (iii) articulating the dependency of informal inferences on their content requires a redefinition of logic as the general study of inferential actions; (iv) it is a decisive advantage of this conception of logic that it accommodates the many mathematical proofs that include actions on objects other than propositions; (v) this conception of logic permits the articulation of project-sized tasks for the philosophy of mathematical practice, thereby supplying a partial characterisation of normal research in the field

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Brendan Larvor
University of Hertfordshire

References found in this work

Argumentation schemes.Douglas Walton, Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.
Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics.Peter Galison (ed.) - 1997 - University of Chicago Press: Chicago.
Argumentation Schemes.Douglas Walton, Christopher Reed & Fabrizio Macagno - 2008 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Chris Reed & Fabrizio Macagno.

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