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Title: Beauty is not simplicity: an analysis of mathematicians' proof appraisals
Authors: Inglis, Matthew
Aberdein, Andrew
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Oxford University Press
Citation: INGLIS, M. and ABERDEIN, A., 2014. Beauty is not simplicity: an analysis of mathematicians' proof appraisals. Philosophia Mathematica, 23 (1), pp.87-109
Abstract: What do mathematicians mean when they use terms such as 'deep', 'elegant', and 'beautiful'? By applying empirical methods developed by social psychologists, we demonstrate that mathematicians' appraisals of proofs vary on four dimensions: aesthetics, intricacy, utility, and precision. We pay particular attention to mathematical beauty and show that, contrary to the classical view, beauty and simplicity are almost entirely unrelated in mathematics.
Description: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Philosophia Mathematica following peer review. The version of record INGLIS, M. and ABERDEIN, A., 2014. Beauty is not simplicity: an analysis of mathematicians' proof appraisals. Philosophia Mathematica, 23 (1), pp. 87 - 109 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/philmat/nku014.
This paper is closed access until 26th July 2015.
Sponsor: This work was supported by a Royal Society Worshipful Company of Actuaries Research Fellowship.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1093/philmat/nku014
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/17224
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/philmat/nku014
ISSN: 0031-8019
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Mathematics Education Centre)

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