Why Did Geometers Stop Using Diagrams?

18 Mar 2015
6:00 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Jeremy Heis
Associate Professor, UC Irvine

The consensus for the last century or so has been that diagrammatic proofs are not genuine proofs. In this talk, I try to identify some of the reasons why geometers in particular began to reject diagrammatic proofs. I argue that the reasons often cited nowadays – that diagrams illicitly infer from a particular to all cases, or can’t handle analytic notions like continuity – played little role in this development. I highlight one very significant (but rarely discussed) flaw in diagrammatic reasoning: diagrammatic methods don’t allow for fully general proofs of theorems.

For more information, please visit the event page.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Department of Philosophy

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