Acceptable gaps in mathematical proofs

Line Edslev Andersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Mathematicians often intentionally leave gaps in their proofs. Based on interviews with mathematicians about their refereeing practices, this paper examines the character of intentional gaps in published proofs. We observe that mathematicians’ refereeing practices limit the number of certain intentional gaps in published proofs. The results provide some new perspectives on the traditional philosophical questions of the nature of proof and of what grounds mathematical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSynthese
Volume197
Pages (from-to)233-247
ISSN0039-7857
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Gaps in proofs
  • Mathematical practice
  • Peer review in mathematics
  • The nature of proofs

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