## The History and Concept of Mathematical Proof (2007)

Citations: | 1 - 0 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Krantz07thehistory,

author = {Steven G. Krantz},

title = {The History and Concept of Mathematical Proof},

year = {2007}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

A mathematician is a master of critical thinking, of analysis, and of deductive reasoning. These skills travel well, and can be applied in a large variety of situations—and in many different disciplines. Today, mathematical skills are being put to good use in medicine, physics, law, commerce, Internet design, engineering, chemistry, biological science, social science, anthropology, genetics, warfare, cryptography, plastic surgery, security analysis, data manipulation, computer science, and in many other disciplines and endeavors as well. The unique feature that sets mathematics apart from other sciences, from philosophy, and indeed from all other forms of intellectual discourse, is the use of rigorous proof. It is the proof concept that makes the subject cohere, that gives it its timelessness, and that enables it to travel well. The purpose of this discussion is to describe proof, to put it in context, to give its history, and to explain its significance. There is no other scientific or analytical discipline that uses proof as readily and routinely as does mathematics. This is the device that makes theoretical mathematics special: the tightly knit chain of reasoning, following strict logical rules, that leads inexorably to a particular conclusion. It is proof that is our device for establishing the absolute and irrevocable truth of statements in our subject. This is the reason that we can depend on mathematics that was done by Euclid 2300 years ago as readily as we believe in the mathematics that is done today. No other discipline can make such an assertion.