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Conjecture, proof, and sense in Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics

Schroeder, S. (2011) Conjecture, proof, and sense in Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics. In: 34th International Wittgenstein Symposium , 7 - 13 of August 2011 , Kirchberg am Wechsel, pp. 459-471.

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/9783110329018.459


One of the key tenets in Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics is that a mathematical proposition gets its meaning from its proof. This seems to have the paradoxical consequence that a mathematical conjecture has no meaning, or at least not the same meaning that it will have once a proof has been found. Hence, it would appear that a conjecture can never be proven true: for what is proven true must ipso facto be a different proposition from what was only conjectured. Moreover, it would appear impossible that the same mathematical proposition be proven in different ways. — I will consider some of Wittgenstein’s remarks on these issues, and attempt to reconstruct his position in a way that makes it appear less paradoxical.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Philosophy
ID Code:26205
Additional Information:Epistemology: Contexts, Values, Disagreement Proceedings of the 34th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium in Kirchberg, 2011 Edited by Jäger, Christoph / Löffler, Winfried DE GRUYTER 2007 Pages: 459-474 eBook ISBN: 9783110329018
Publisher:Ontos Verlag

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