University of Adelaide
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1988
Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  •  97
    The surveyability of long proofs
    Foundations of Science 14 (1-2): 27-43. 2009.
    The specific characteristics of mathematical argumentation all depend on the centrality that writing has in the practice of mathematics, but blindness to this fact is near universal. What follows concerns just one of those characteristics, justification by proof. There is a prevalent view that long proofs pose a problem for the thesis that mathematical knowledge is justified by proof. I argue that there is no such problem: in fact, virtually all the justifications of mathematical knowledge are ‘…Read more
  •  346
    Pernicious logical metaphors
    Logique Et Analyse 53 (210): 185. 2010.
    My real position is that logic is a mere sub-branch of rhetoric, but in this paper I only try to show an area of overlap. Certain usages in logical work are metaphorical, and I argue that this has pernicious effects in a discipline assumed strictly literal. Among these pernicious effects are the bizarre and fruitless focus of philosophy of mathematics on the pseudo-problems of foundations and objects. I mostly examine the locution 'logical construction' and a range of associated metaphors. Some …Read more
  •  107
    There is no Fallacy of Arguing from Authority
    Informal Logic 17 (3). 1995.
    I argue that there is no fallacy of argument from authority. I first show the weakness of the case for there being such a fallacy: text-book presentations are confused, alleged examples are not genuinely exemplary, reasons given for its alleged fallaciousness are not convincing. Then I analyse arguing from authority as a complex speech act. Rejecting the popular but unjustified category of the "part-time fallacy", I show that bad arguments which appeal to authority are defective through breach o…Read more