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Visual Thinking in Mathematics

Marcus Giaquinto


Visual thinking — visual imagination or perception of diagrams and symbol arrays, and mental operations on them — is omnipresent in mathematics. Is this visual thinking merely a psychological aid, facilitating grasp of what is gathered by other means? Or does it also have epistemological functions, as a means of discovery, understanding, and even proof? This book argues that visual thinking in mathematics is rarely just a superfluous aid; it usually has epistemological value, often as a means of discovery. The book explores a major source of our grasp of mathematics, using examples from basic ... More

Keywords: imagination, diagrams, symbols, epistemological function, proof, geometry, arithmetic, algebra, abstract, a priori knowledge

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199285945
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285945.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marcus Giaquinto, author
University College London
Author Webpage