Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery

By Imre Lakatos

Synopsis: Proofs and Refutations is essential reading for all those interested in the methodology, the philosophy and the history of mathematics. Much of the book takes the form of a discussion between a teacher and his students. They propose various solutions to some mathematical problems and investigate the strengths and weaknesses of these solutions. Their discussion (which mirrors certain real developments in the history of mathematics) raises some philosophical problems and some problems about the nature of mathematical discovery or creativity. Imre Lakatos is concerned throughout to combat the classical picture of mathematical development as a steady accumulation of established truths. He shows that mathematics grows instead through a richer, more dramatic process of the successive improvement of creative hypotheses by attempts to ‘prove’ them and by criticism of these attempts: the logic of proofs and refutations.

Published: 1976 | ISBN-13: 978-0521290388

Mini-bio: Imre Lakatos was a Hungarian philosopher of mathematics and science, known for his thesis of the fallibility of mathematics and its ‘methodology of proofs and refutations’ in its pre-axiomatic stages of development, and also for introducing the concept of the ‘research programme’ in his methodology of scientific research programmes. – From Wikipedia

From Thony Christie’s 10 Great History of (European) Science Books and more

The Complete Review Book Review
The Philosophical Quarterly Book Review
Mathematical Association of America Book Review
Hustle and Flow Book Review

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Categories: Classic, History, Mathematics, Philosophy

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