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Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia

Volume 34, Issue 2, May 2019

Tamires Dal Magro, Manuel J. García-Pérez
Pages 255-276

On Euclidean diagrams and geometrical knowledge

We argue against the claim that the employment of diagrams in Euclidean geometry gives rise to gaps in the proofs. First, we argue that it is a mistake to evaluate its merits through the lenses of Hilbert’s formal reconstruction. Second, we elucidate the abilities employed in diagram-based inferences in the Elements and show that diagrams are mathematically reputable tools. Finally, we complement our analysis with a review of recent experimental results purporting to show that, not only is the Euclidean diagram-based practice strictly regimented, it is rooted in cognitive abilities that are universally shared.

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