Bridging the gap between argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematics

Alison Pease, Alan Smaill, Simon Colton, John Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that there are mutually beneficial connections to be made between ideas in argumentation theory and the philosophy of mathematics, and that these connections can be suggested via the process of producing computational models of theories in these domains. We discuss Lakatos's work (Proofs and Refutations, 1976) in which he championed the informal nature of mathematics, and our computational representation of his theory. In particular, we outline our representation of Cauchy's proof of Euler's conjecture, in which we use work by Haggith on argumentation structures, and identify connections between these structures and Lakatos's methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-135
Number of pages25
JournalFoundations of Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Argumentation
  • Computational model
  • Lakatos
  • Philosophy of mathematics
  • Theory refinement

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