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.

Author: Gromi Maubar
Country: Sierra Leone
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Career
Published (Last): 27 January 2016
Pages: 377
PDF File Size: 6.66 Mb
ePub File Size: 15.61 Mb
ISBN: 384-8-80596-258-4
Downloads: 8280
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Gardasida

I don’t think so but interesting as Proofs and Refutations is, it exhibits a view as blinded as 20th century thought itself.

Proofs and Refutations – Wikipedia

What Lakatos shows you is that math is not the rigid formalistic system you may conceive of, but something far more fluid, something prone to frequent revision, something that must always have its refutatilns challenged in order to reach mathematical truth.

Instead I follow–and point the reader towards–a wonderful essay by the little-known Australian philosopher, David Stove, entitled, “Cole Porter and Karl Popper: For example, the annd between a 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.

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. Though I find his critique of rigor appealing it comes tefutations too high a price if I also have to accept the attendant irrationalism. It is this destruction, not irrefutability as Popper claims, that has lead to the ascendancy of bogus ideas such as Marxism, feminism and, lately, deconstructionism.

Jul 14, Jake rated it it was amazing. Mar 12, Samuel Fout 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 into Lakatos’ philosophy and are welcome appendices.

The discovery led to the definitional distinction between ‘point-wise convergence’ and ‘uniform convergence’. 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 complete lkaatos. Did Lakatos know he was doing all this? Using just a few historical case studies, the book presents a powerful rebuttal of the formalist characterization of mathematics as an additive process in which absolute truth is gradually arrived at through infallible deductions.

At its best, refhtations can reveal without effort the dialectic manner in which knowledge and disciplines develop.

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

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Whenever one of the characters says something flowery and absurd, there’s a little footnote to something almost identical said by Poincare or Dedekind or some other prominent mathematician. None of the ‘creative’ periods and hardly any of the ‘critical’ periods of mathematical theories would be admitted into the formalist heaven, where mathematical theories dwell like the seraphim, purged of all the impurities of earthly uncertainty.


He makes you think about the nature of proof, kind of along the lines of the great Morris Kline–still an occasional presence during my graduate school days at New York University–and who’s wonderful book, “Mathematics and the Loss of Certainty” reinvigorated my love for mathematics; because it showed mathematics didn’t have to be presented in the dry theorem-lemma-proof style that has had it in a strangle hold since the 20th century predominance of the rigorists called formalists by Lakatos.

So in this dialogue, he exposes those challenges in order to arrive at a better understanding of Euler’s theorem. May 29, Nick rated it it was amazing Shelves: A number of mathematics teachers have implemented Lakatos’ method of proofs and refutations in the classroom, when teaching other mathematical topics. Published January 1st by Cambridge University Press. Proofs and Refutations – US. Or perhaps they do for “We might be more interested in this proposition if we really understood just why the Riemann — Stieltjes integrable functions are so important.

View all 3 comments.

Jun 13, Douglas rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.

I once thought I had found Lakatos to be putting the final nail into the coffin of refutatiins certainty of overly rigorous mathematical proof; that slight were the blessings of such rigor compared to loss in clarity and direction in mathematics.

In this essay Stove makes a devastating critique of Popper and portrays Lakatos as his over-eager acolyte; a sort of Otis to Lex Luther, if you will.

Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery

Probably one of the most important books I’ve read in my mathematics career. How we “monster-bar” by claiming that an exception to the rule is irrelevant or worse “proves the rule. For this reason, Lakatos argues, teachers and textbooks must provide a heuristic presentation behind the arguments and the proofs; the ontogenesis of mathematical discovery does not proceed through an arbitrary ‘definition, theorem, proof’ style.

Quotes from Proofs and Refuta 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.


Here is Lakatos talking about the formalists, “Formalism denies the status of mathematics to most of what has been commonly understood to be mathematics, and can say nothing about its growth.

This book answers with a resounding “no! The book includes two appendices. Jul 15, Zain rated it really liked it Shelves: You didn’t do so hot in higher-level math, are more comfortable with the subjectivity of the written word, and view the process of mathematical discovery from a position of respect and distance.

I would have to reread this some day. And like Otis, it appears that, by taking Popper’s argument too far, Lakatos incurred the disapproval, if not emnity, of the former.

From Wikipedia, the refuutations encyclopedia. The book is profoundly deep, in a philosophical way, and it was not too difficult, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Though the book is written as a narrative, an actual method of investigation, that of “proofs and refutations”, is developed. The polyhedron-example that is used has, in fact, a long and storied past, and Lakatos uses this to keep the example from being simply an abstract one — the book allows one to see the historical progression of maths, and to hear the echoes of the voices of past mathematicians that grappled with the same question.

I believe Lakatos’ basic diagnosis is essentially correct. Lakatos’ didactic text, the title essay which makes up the bulk of this book, is presented in the form of a discussion between a teacher and a number of students. The book is written as a series of Socratic dialogues involving a group of students who debate the prlofs of the Euler characteristic defined for the polyhedron.

I’ve never gotten past Algebra II, and I still understood most of the book, though to be sure I missed out on the bits of calculus here and there, and didn’t know enough about math to discern which dialogue participant stood for which philosopher.

A finely written, well-argued book, it is exemplary in its succinct and elegant presentation. Philosopher of mathematics and science, known for his thesis pakatos the fallibility of mathematics and its ‘methodology of proofs and refutations’ in its pre-axiomatic stages of development, and also anf introducing the concept of the ‘research programme’ in his methodology of scientific research programmes.

Preview — Proofs and Refutations by Imre Lakatos. The dialogue is fairly natural as natural as is possible, given the maths that make up much of itand through the use of verbatim quotes and his varied subjects he has created a fine work.

iPhone X