Bishop's Mathematics: a Philosophical Perspective

In Handbook of Bishop's Mathematics. CUP (forthcoming)
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Errett Bishop's work in constructive mathematics is overwhelmingly regarded as a turning point for mathematics based on intuitionistic logic. It brought new life to this form of mathematics and prompted the development of new areas of research that witness today's depth and breadth of constructive mathematics. Surprisingly, notwithstanding the extensive mathematical progress since the publication in 1967 of Errett Bishop's Foundations of Constructive Analysis, there has been no corresponding advances in the philosophy of constructive mathematics Bishop style. The aim of this paper is to foster the philosophical debate about this form of mathematics. I begin by considering key elements of philosophical remarks by Bishop, especially focusing on Bishop's assessment of Brouwer. I then compare these remarks with ``traditional'' philosophical arguments for intuitionistic logic and argue that the latter are in tension with Bishop's views. ``Traditional'' arguments for intuitionistic logic turn out to be also in conflict with significant recent developments in constructive mathematics. This rises pressing questions for the philosopher of mathematics, especially with regard to the possibility of offering alternative philosophical arguments for constructive mathematics. I conclude with the suggestion to look anew at Bishop's own remarks for inspiration.



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Laura Crosilla
University of Oslo

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Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Varieties of Logic.Stewart Shapiro - 2014 - Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology.Stewart Shapiro - 1997 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press USA.
Wang's paradox.Michael Dummett - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):201--32.

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