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[We investigated whether mathematicians typically agree about the qualities of mathematical proofs. Between-mathematician consensus in proof appraisals is an implicit assumption of many arguments made by philosophers of mathematics, but to our knowledge the issue has not previously been empirically investigated. We asked a group of mathematicians to assess a specific proof on four dimensions, using the framework identified by Inglis and Aberdein (2015). We found widespread disagreement between our participants about the aesthetics, intricacy, precision and utility of the proof, suggesting that a priori assumptions about the consistency of mathematical proof appraisals are unreasonable.]
Published: May 26, 2016
Keywords: Human Personality; Mathematical Proof; Mathematical Practice; Mathematical Community; Aesthetics Dimension
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