@MISC{Bundy91ascience, author = {Alan Bundy}, title = {A Science of Reasoning}, year = {1991} }

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question of how we can understand reasoning in general and mathematical proofs in particular. It argues the need for a high-level understanding of proofs to complement the low-level understanding provided by Logic. It proposes a role for computation in providing this high-level understanding, namely by the association of proof plans with proofs. Proof plans are defined and examples are given for two families of proofs. Criteria are given for assessing the association of a proof plan with a proof. 1 Motivation: the understanding of mathematical proofs The understanding of reasoning has interested researchers since, at least, Aristotle. Logic has been proposed by Aristotle, Boole, Frege and others as a way of formalising arguments and understanding their structure. There have also been psychological studies of how people and animals actually do reason. The work on Logic has been especially influential in the automation of reasoning. For instance, resolution...