Revisiting the reliability of published mathematical proofs: where do we go next?

Joachim Frans, Laszlo Kosolosky

Abstract


Mathematics seems to have a special status when compared to other areas of human knowledge. This special status is linked with the role of proof. Mathematicians all too often believe that this type of argumentation leaves no room for errors or unclarity. In this paper we take a closer look at mathematical practice, more precisely at the publication process in mathematics. We argue that the apparent view that mathematical literature is also more reliable is too naive. We will discuss several problems in the publication process that threaten this view, and give several suggestions on how this could be countered.

Keywords


Mathematics; Publication process; Objectivity; Absolutism; Fallibilism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.10758