Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition

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Symposium on Mathematical Practice and Cognition

Invited talk

Mathematical argumentation and the Toulmin model. Dr. Brendan Larvor, Principal Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire

Argumentation theorists have lately attempted to apply Toulmin's model to mathematics. I argue that the interest of Toulmin's approach does not lie in the details of his inferential model. Rather, we should pay attention to the notion of field-specific inference and the associated notion of field-specific modalities. If Toulmin's model is to have any interesting application to mathematics, some non-question-begging way must be found to individuate mathematical fields. I suggest that fields in this sense should be conceived of as fields of practice rather than fields of content.