Computer, Proof, and Testimony

Studies in Logic 5 (1):50-67 (2012)

Kai-Yee Wong
Chinese University of Hong Kong
It has been claimed that computer-assisted proof utilizes empirical evidence in a manner unheard of in traditional mathematics and therefore its employment forces us to modify our conception of proof. This paper provides a critical survey of some arguments for this claim. It starts by revisiting a well known paper by Thomas Tymoczko on the computer proof of the Four-Color Theorem. Drawing on some ideas from the works of Tyler Burge and others, it then considers a way to see the philosophical significance of computer proof that casts doubts on the claim.
Keywords computer-assisted proof  Four-color problem  mathematical knowledge  Testimonial knowledge
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A Priority as an Evaluative Notion.Hartry Field - 2000 - In Paul A. Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press.

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