# What are you asking – what type of reasoning does a mathematical proof use?

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A mathematical proof uses deductive reasoning.

Detailed responses to the query

A mathematical proof uses deductive reasoning, which is a logical process of deriving a conclusion based on previously accepted statements or facts. This type of reasoning is different from inductive reasoning, which uses specific examples or observations to draw a general conclusion.

As Bertrand Russell once said, “Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty.” Mathematical proofs are the backbone of this beauty, providing a foundation for solving problems in a systematic and reliable way.

Here are some interesting facts about mathematical proofs:

• The oldest known mathematical proof dates back to around 1,800 BCE and was found on a Babylonian clay tablet. It was a proof for computing the area of a trapezoid.
• Euclid, often called the “father of geometry,” wrote a book called “Elements” around 300 BCE that contained hundreds of mathematical proofs. It was used as a textbook for over 2,000 years.
• The concept of proof has been crucial to the development of other fields, including computer science, physics, and engineering.
• At its most basic, a proof is simply a logical argument that explains why something is true. However, some proofs can be incredibly complex and involve advanced mathematical concepts and equations.
• The Pythagorean Theorem, which states that in a right triangle, the square of the length of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides, has over 400 known proofs.
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In summary, mathematical proofs are a critical part of the world of mathematics, relying on deductive reasoning to arrive at logical conclusions. As Albert Einstein once said, “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

Deductive Reasoning Inductive Reasoning
Based on accepted statements or facts Based on specific examples and observations
Used in mathematical proofs Used in scientific research
Conclusions are logically certain Conclusions are not logically certain
Moves from general to specific Moves from specific to general

## You might discover the answer to “What type of reasoning does a mathematical proof use?” in this video

In this video, Alexander Knop explains the concept of a mathematical proof as a sequence of true statements that begins with what is already known and ends with the statement to be proven. He also emphasizes that in mathematics, an implication is true if and only if the initial statement is true and the conclusion statement is also true irrespective of the truth value of any other statements. Despite differing from everyday language, this definition of implication is useful for creating logical arguments in mathematics.

## Further responses to your query

Proofs are examples of exhaustive deductive reasoning which establish logical certainty, to be distinguished from empirical arguments or non-exhaustive inductive reasoning which establish "reasonable expectation".

The most famous analogy is that of a continuous stack of dominoes.

You want to show that if you trip the first domino over,all the others will fall too.

You start by showing the you actually can knock down the first domino. This is known as the base case.

You then show that if the domino in the $x \text{th}$ position falls,then the domino in the $(x+1)\text{th}$ position also falls.This is known as the inductive hypothesis.

If you have proved these two things,your proof is complete.

To understand how we are done,consider this:

You have shown that the first domino falls.

Applying the inductively hypothesis,you know that if the first domino falls,then the second also falls.

Applying the inductive hypothesis again,you know that as the second domino falls,hence the third domino will also fall.

And so on.

There you go,you just proved your claim for all positive integers!

## You will most likely be interested in this

### Are mathematical proofs inductive or deductive?

Mathematics is deductive. To be more precise, only deductive proofs are accepted in mathematics. Your "inductive proof" of the distributive property wouldn’t be accepted as a proof at all, merely as verification for a finite number of cases (1 case in your question).

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### Are mathematical proofs deductive?

A deductive argument is characterized by the claim that its conclusion follows with strict necessity from the premises. A mathematics proof is a deductive argument. Although induction and deduction are processes that proceed in mutually opposite directions, they are closely related.

### Which type of reasoning do most advanced mathematical proofs use?

In most mathematical literature, proofs are written in terms of rigorous informal logic.
Similar

### What is mathematical reasoning?

Response: Reasoning in math is the process of applying logical thinking to a situation to derive the correct problem solving strategy for a given question, and using this method to develop and describe a solution. Put more simply, mathematical reasoning is the bridge between fluency and problem solving.

### Why are proofs important in mathematics?

The reply will be: Proofs are the machinery that allows mathematicians to demonstrate definitively that a statement is a fact. Some benefits of proofs include: Proofs show that a mathematical statement is true or false. Proofs are helpful for understanding why a mathematical statement is true. This is why proofs are important in mathematics.

### What is mathematical reasoning & why is it important?

Answer to this: Mathematical reasoning is a critical skill that enables students to analyze a given hypothesis without any reference to a particular context or meaning. In layman’s words, when a scientific inquiry or statement is examined, the reasoning is not based on an individual’s opinion. Derivations and proofs require a factual and scientific basis.

### What is a proof based on?

In reply to that: A proof must use correct, logical reasoning and be based on previously established results. These previous results can be axioms, definitions, or previously proven theorems. These terms are discussed in the sections below.

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### Why is math based on deductive reasoning?

Mathematics is all about proving that certain statements, such as Pythagoras’ theorem, are true everywhere and for eternity. This is why maths is based on deductive reasoning. A mathematical proof is an argument that deduces the statement that is meant to be proven from other statements that you know for sure are true.

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