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Mathematicians’ assessments of the explanatory value of proofs

journal contribution
posted on 15.04.2021, 10:40 by Juan Pablo Mejía Ramos, Tanya Evans, Colin Rittberg, Matthew Inglis
The literature on mathematical explanation contains numerous examples of explanatory, and not so explanatory proofs. In this paper we report results of an empirical study aimed at investigating mathematicians’ notion of explanatoriness, and its relationship to accounts of mathematical explanation. Using a Comparative Judgement approach, we asked 38 mathematicians to assess the explanatory value of several proofs of the same proposition. We found an extremely high level of agreement among mathematicians, and some inconsistencies between their assessments and claims in the literature regarding the explanatoriness of certain types of proofs.

History

School

  • Science

Department

  • Mathematics Education Centre

Published in

Axiomathes

Publisher

Springer

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V

Publisher statement

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Axiomathes. The final authenticated version is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-021-09545-8.

Acceptance date

03/03/2021

Publication date

2021-03-20

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1122-1151

eISSN

1572-8390

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Matthew Inglis. Deposit date: 10 March 2021

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