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Everything. But we clean up the incorrectness, sweep any inconsistencies under the rug and then publish the corrected proof as if it sprang, fully-formed, from our mind. This, much to the bewilderment and bafflement of students thereafter! mwahahaha! http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Evillaugh...

If your viewpoint is the history of mathematical proof, then the answer might be "Everything up to the early Greeks." Here's a nice link: "The History and Concept of. Mathematical Proof" by Steven G. Krantz http://www.math.wustl.edu/~sk/eolss.pdf

But if you want to really understand then take a look at the book

Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being by G. Lakoff & R. Núñez. http://www.amazon.com/Where-Mathematics-Comes-Embodied-Bring...

The introduction and first four chapters [PDF] are available at


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