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  1.  38
    Motivated Proofs: What They Are, Why They Matter and How to Write Them.Rebecca Lea Morris - 2020 - Review of Symbolic Logic 13 (1):23-46.
    Mathematicians judge proofs to possess, or lack, a variety of different qualities, including, for example, explanatory power, depth, purity, beauty and fit. Philosophers of mathematical practice have begun to investigate the nature of such qualities. However, mathematicians frequently draw attention to another desirable proof quality: being motivated. Intuitively, motivated proofs contain no "puzzling" steps, but they have received little further analysis. In this paper, I begin a philosophical investigation into motivated proofs. I suggest that a proof is motivated if and (...)
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  2.  27
    Intellectual generosity and the reward structure of mathematics.Rebecca Lea Morris - 2020 - Synthese (1-2):1-23.
    Prominent mathematician William Thurston was praised by other mathematicians for his intellectual generosity. But what does it mean to say Thurston was intellectually generous? And is being intellectually generous beneficial? To answer these questions I turn to virtue epistemology and, in particular, Roberts and Wood's (2007) analysis of intellectual generosity. By appealing to Thurston's own writings and interviewing mathematicians who knew and worked with him, I argue that Roberts and Wood's analysis nicely captures the sense in which he was intellectually (...)
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  3.  40
    Do Mathematical Explanations Have Instrumental Value?Rebecca Lea Morris - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-20.
    Scientific explanations are widely recognized to have instrumental value by helping scientists make predictions and control their environment. In this paper I raise, and provide a first analysis of, the question whether explanatory proofs in mathematics have analogous instrumental value. I first identify an important goal in mathematical practice: reusing resources from existing proofs to solve new problems. I then consider the more specific question: do explanatory proofs have instrumental value by promoting reuse of the resources they contain? In general, (...)
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  4.  29
    Plans and Planning in Mathematical Proofs.Yacin Hamami & Rebecca Lea Morris - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic:1-40.
    In practice, mathematical proofs are most often the result of careful planning by the agents who produced them. As a consequence, each mathematical proof inherits a plan in virtue of the way it is produced, a plan which underlies its “architecture” or “unity”. This paper provides an account of plans and planning in the context of mathematical proofs. The approach adopted here consists in looking for these notions not in mathematical proofs themselves, but in the agents who produced them. The (...)
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  5.  20
    Increasing Specialization: Why We Need to Make Mathematics More Accessible.Rebecca Lea Morris - 2020 - Social Epistemology 35 (1):37-47.
    Mathematics is becoming increasingly specialized, divided into a vast and growing number of subfields. While this division of cognitive labor has important benefits, it also has a significant drawb...
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