Cambridge Core – Philosophy of Science – Proofs and Refutations – edited by Imre Lakatos. PROOFS AND REFUTATIONS. ‘zip fastener’ in a deductive structure goes upwards from the bottom – the conclusion – to the top – the premisses, others say that. I. LAKATOS. 6 7. The Problem of Content Revisited. (a) The naivet6 of the naive conjecture. (b) Induction as the basis of the method of proofs and refutations.

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Lakatos also displays a fine wit, and an elegant writing style.

We develop mathematical definitions, examples, theorems, and proofs to meet human needs through heuristics. I don’t think so but interesting as Proofs and Refutations is, it exhibits a view as blinded as 20th century thought itself. I might add listening to Lakatos–as can be done on the internet–infects the listener with this roguish enthusiasm and may make you want to read this book all the more.

Instead of treating definitions as if they have been conjured up by divine insight to allow the mathematician to deduce theorems from the bottom up, the heuristic approach recognizes the very top down aspect of performing mathematics, by which definitions develop as a consequence of the refinement of proofs and their related concepts.

Ultimately, the naive conjecture the top is where the mathematician begins, and it is only after the process of “proofs and refutations” has finalized that we are even prepared to present mathematics as beginning from first principles and flourishing therefrom.

To create the most apt theorem A book about the meaning and philosophy of mathematical proofs. It combats the positivist picture and develops a much richer, more dramatic progression. Using just a few historical case studies, the book presents a powerful rebuttal of the formalist characterization of mathematics as an additive oakatos in which absolute truth is gradually arrived at through infallible deductions.

Proofs and Refutations by Imre Lakatos.


Proofs and Refutations – Wikipedia

This short, but inspiring read discusses not a particular theorem or proof in mathematics, but rather the process of how mathematics is developed from an initial idea, hypothesis, monster-barring, expansion of the theorem, etc.

Lakatos himself did not finish the preparations to publish his essay in book form, but his editors have done a fine job. A finely written, well-argued book, it is exemplary in its succinct and elegant presentation. That is, one should look at prlofs proof, and pin down exactly what properties are used, and then based on lakatow thorough examination, state one’s theorem accordingly.

And it is presented in the form of an entertaining and even suspenseful narrative. Trkstr rated it really ,akatos it May 21, Apr 15, Nick Black marked it as to-read Recommended to Nick by: Lakatos argues that this view misses quite a lot of how mathematical ideas historically have emerged. This book is warmly recommended to anyone refutaations does mathematics, is interested in philosophy of mathematics or science or simply enjoys a well-written dialogue about philosophical questions.

Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery

Jul 15, Zain rated it really liked it Shelves: That is, the proof always takes precedence. Taking the apparently simple problem before the class the teacher shows how many difficulties there in fact are — from that of proof to definition to verificationamong others.

Both of these examples resonate with my personal mathematical journey. If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. It reminds me of Ernest Mach’s “Science of Mechanics”–the latter is not in the form of a dialogue.

We also see how generally it is the refutations, the counterexamples, that help us in the development by forcing us to specify more conditions in the theorems, using more specific definitions and hint at further developments of the theorem.

Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery by Imre Lakatos

The book includes lakztos appendices. With culture in the place of civilization there can be no question of the transcendent that applies to all men. I have studied Hegel for quite some time now, but Lakatos’ book introduced me to a new side of the dialectical method — yes, this book will teach you the method of “Proofs and Refutations” which is, a dialectical method of mathematical discovery.


May 12, Ari rated it really liked it. Jul 14, Jake rated it it was amazing. According to Roger Kimball’s review of Stove, “Who was David Stove”, New Criterion, March”In [Popper’s] philosophy of science, we find the curious thought that falsifiability, not verifiability, is the distinguishing mark of scientific theories; this means that, for Popper, one theory is better than another if it is more dis-provable than the other.

Definitely required reading for mathematicians lakahos philosophers of mathematics. Jan 01, Philip Pdoofs rated it it was amazing.

The book is profoundly deep, in a philosophic I would like to give this book a 4. The additional essays included here another case-study of the proofs-and-refutations idea, and a comparison of The Deductivist versus the Heuristic Approach offer more insight refuttaions Lakatos’ philosophy and are welcome appendices.

Aug 11, Ben Labe rated it it was amazing. His main argument takes the form of a dialogue between a number of students and a te It is common for people starting out in Mathematics, by the time they’ve mastered Euclidean Geometry or some other first rigorous branch, to believe in its proofs infallibility. For example, the difference between lalatos counterexample to a lemma a so-called ‘local counterexample’ and a counterexample to the specific conjecture under attack a ‘global counterexample’ to the Euler characteristic, in this case is discussed.