Document Detail

Mathematical Wit and Mathematical Cognition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23512504     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The published works of scientists often conceal the cognitive processes that led to their results. Scholars of mathematical practice must therefore seek out less obvious sources. This article analyzes a widely circulated mathematical joke, comprising a list of spurious proof types. An account is proposed in terms of argumentation schemes: stereotypical patterns of reasoning, which may be accompanied by critical questions itemizing possible lines of defeat. It is argued that humor is associated with risky forms of inference, which are essential to creative mathematics. The components of the joke are explicated by argumentation schemes devised for application to topic-neutral reasoning. These in turn are classified under seven headings: retroduction, citation, intuition, meta-argument, closure, generalization, and definition. Finally, the wider significance of this account for the cognitive science of mathematics is discussed.
Andrew Aberdein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-3-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Topics in cognitive science     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1756-8765     ISO Abbreviation:  Top Cogn Sci     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-3-20     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101506764     Medline TA:  Top Cogn Sci     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Department of Humanities & Communication, Florida Institute of Technology.
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