### Abstract

Mathematics used to be portrayed as a deductive science. Stemming from Polya (1954), however, is a philosophical movement which broadens the concept of mathematical reasoning to include inductive or quasi-empirical methods. Interest in inductive methods is a welcome turn from foundationalism toward a philosophy grounded in mathematical practice. Regrettably, though, the conception of mathematical reasoning embraced by quasi-empiricists is still too narrow to include the sort of thought-experiment which Mueller describes as traditional mathematical proof (Mueller, 1969, p. 295) and which Lakatos examines in Proofs and refutations (Lakatos, 1976). This paper extends the concept of mathematical reasoning along two further dimensions to accommodate thought-experiment.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 489-504 |

Number of pages | 16 |

Journal | Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A |

Volume | 37 |

Issue number | 3 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Sep 1 2006 |

### Keywords

- Informal proof
- Mathematical reasoning
- Thought-experiment

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- History
- History and Philosophy of Science