Philosophia Mathematica 2 (3):202-227 (1994)

Janet Folina
Macalester College
There is a basic division in the philosophy of mathematics between realist, ‘platonist’ theories and anti-realist ‘constructivist’ theories. Platonism explains how mathematical truth is strongly objective, but it does this at the cost of invoking mind-independent mathematical objects. In contrast, constructivism avoids mind-independent mathematical objects, but the cost tends to be a weakened conception of mathematical truth. Neither alternative seems ideal. The purpose of this paper is to show that in the philosophical writings of Henri Poincaré there is a coherent argument for an interesting position between the two traditional poles in the philosophy of mathematics. Relying on a semi-Kantian framework, Poincaré combines an epistemological and metaphysical constructivism with a more realist account of the nature of mathematical truth.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/philmat/2.3.202
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,379
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

View all 32 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Science and Method.Henri Poincaré - 1914 - Dover Publications.
Platonism and Anti‐Platonism: Why Worry?Mary Leng - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):65 – 84.
Mathematics and Reality.Mary Leng (ed.) - 2010 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Poincaré: Mathematics & Logic & Intuition.Colin Mclarty - 1997 - Philosophia Mathematica 5 (2):97-115.
Poincare on Mathematics, Intuition and the Foundations of Science.Janet Folina - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:217 - 226.
The Many Faces of Mathematical Constructivism.B. Kerkhove & J. P. Bendegem - 2012 - Constructivist Foundations 7 (2):97-103.
Truth and Proof.Otávio Bueno - 2008 - Manuscrito 31 (1):419-440.
Science and Method.Henri Poincaré - 1952 - Dover Publications.


Added to PP index

Total views
110 ( #107,973 of 2,519,686 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #406,314 of 2,519,686 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes