Cognition covers the arts of problem solving. The Logic field of study covers any activity that studies Reason in order to manifest the material. In mathematics, a proof is a convincing demonstration that some mathematical statement is necessarily true, within the accepted standards of the field. A proof is a logically deduced argument, not an empirical one. That is, the proof must demonstrate that a proposition is true in all cases to which it applies, without a single exception. An unproven proposition believed or strongly suspected to be true is known as a conjecture.

Proofs employ logic but usually include some amount of natural language which usually admits some ambiguity. In fact, the vast majority of proofs in written mathematics can be considered as applications of informal logic. Purely formal proofs are considered in proof theory. The distinction between formal and informal proofs has led to much examination of current and historical mathematical practice, quasi-empiricism in mathematics, and so-called folk mathematics (in both senses of that term). The philosophy of mathematics is concerned with the role of language and logic in proofs, and mathematics as a language.

Regardless of one's attitude to formalism, the result that is proved to be true is a theorem; in a completely formal proof it would be the final line, and the complete proof shows how it follows from the axioms alone by the application of the rules of inference. Once a theorem is proved, it can be used as the basis to prove further statements. A theorem may also be referred to as a lemma if it is used as a stepping stone in the proof of a theorem. The axioms are those statements one cannot, or need not, prove. These were once the primary study of philosophers of mathematics. Today focus is more on practice, i.e. acceptable techniques.

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