Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mathematical Intuition (Poincaré, Polya, Dewey), Reuben Hersh, University of New Mexico. Link to the paper.

Found an interesting paper on mathematics and intuition. Here is the summary. 

Mathematical Intuition (Poincaré, Polya, Dewey)

Reuben Hersh
University of New Mexico

Summary: Practical calculation of the limit of a sequence often violates the definition of convergence to a limit as taught in calculus. Together with examples from Euler, Polya and Poincare, this fact shows that in mathematics, as in science and in everyday life, we are often obligated to use knowledge that is derived, not rigorously or deductively, but simply by making the best use of available information — plausible reasoning. The “philosophy of mathematical practice” fits into the general framework of “warranted assertibility,” the pragmatist view of the logic of inquiry developed by John Dewey.

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