I think the FAQ on proofs would be improved if it emphasized the use of defintions. It says that theorems and axioms are used in proofs, but many many textbook type proofs hinge on "parsing" definitions correctly.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

As alluded to in the FAQs related to "is .999.. = 1?", many difficulties that people have with proofs arise because they substitute their own mangled definitions of what things are in place of the actual definitions. For example, I notice that several forum members express a "Platonic" view of mathematical objects. They believe these objects exist independently of the definitions that mathematics makes for them. That may be fine as a general philosophy of life, but it is ineffective as an approach to writing mathematical proofs.

(I suppose this post falls under Science Education, but that section doesn't show a link to the math FAQs, so I posted here.)

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# The FAQ on proofs should emphasize definitions

Loading...

Similar Threads - proofs should emphasize | Date |
---|---|

B Did President Garfield really come up with an alternate proof? | Mar 7, 2018 |

B Fermat's Last Theorem; unacceptable proof, why? | Feb 15, 2018 |

I Proof without words for Heron's formula | Jan 19, 2018 |

What should I know to test out of Intro to Logic and Proof? | May 1, 2011 |

Proofs- what should I do? | Jun 1, 2005 |

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**