[FOM] Proof in mathematics

catarina dutilh cdutilhnovaes at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 12 00:55:37 EDT 2010

On 07/08/2010 09:35 AM, Steve Stevenson wrote:
> Question 1 occurred to me in a different context: what is the history
> of mathematical proof vis-a-vis the form of an argument in classical
> rhetoric?

> My question is, "What is the history of development of the two
> subjects?" More to the point, are they contemporaneous?

On the historical development of the deductive method of proof in ancient Greek 
mathematics, I highly recommend Raviel Netz's "The Shaping of Deduction" (1999, 


According to Netz, the development of the deductive method can only be 
understood in the context of a society profoundly marked by the tradition of 
*public debates*. But at the same time, it developed as a *reaction* to other 
forms of argumentation at the time. (See in particular Chap. 7.) Netz was a 
student of G. Lloyd, who also has very significant work on the history of 




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