PhilSci Archive

Proof, Explanation, and Justification in Mathematical Practice

Mizrahi, Moti (2020) Proof, Explanation, and Justification in Mathematical Practice. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
ProofExplanationJustificationMathematicalPractice.pdf

Download (314kB) | Preview

Abstract

In this paper, I propose that applying the methods of data science to “the problem of whether mathematical explanations occur within mathematics itself” (Mancosu 2018) might be a fruitful way to shed new light on the problem. By carefully selecting indicator words for explanation and justification, and then systematically searching for these indicators in databases of scholarly works in mathematics, we can get an idea of how mathematicians use these terms in mathematical practice and with what frequency. The results of this empirical study suggest that mathematical explanations do occur in research articles published in mathematics journals, as indicated by the occurrence of explanation indicators. When compared with the use of justification indicators, however, the data suggest that justifications occur much more frequently than explanations in scholarly mathematical practice. The results also suggest that justificatory proofs occur much more frequently than explanatory proofs, thus suggesting that proof may be playing a larger justificatory role than an explanatory role in scholarly mathematical practice.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Mizrahi, Motimotimizra@gmail.com
Additional Information: Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Keywords: corpus linguistics; data science; explanation; justification; mathematical practice; proof; text mining
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Depositing User: Dr. Moti Mizrahi
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 14:08
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2020 14:08
Item ID: 17440
Subjects: General Issues > Data
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Practice
Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Proof
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Mathematics
Date: 6 July 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17440

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item