Chapter

Perspectives On Mathematical Practices

Volume 5 of the series Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science pp 3-23

How and Why Mathematics is Unique as a Social Practice

  • Jody AzzouniAffiliated withTufts University

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Abstract

Difficulties are raised for views that explain consensus in mathematics using only sociological pressure. Mathematical proof is sociologically very peculiar, when compared to other socially constrained practices. A preliminary analysis of the factors that have been at work historically in the “benign fixation of mathematical practice” are then exhumed: dispositions, implicit applications, an implicit logic, all play a role.

Keywords

Consensus mathematical proof socially-constructed objects drift mature mathematics contemporary mathematics