Though my title speaks of Kant’s mathematical realism, I want in this essay to explore Kant’s relation to a famous mathematical anti-realist. Specifically, I want to discuss Kant’s influence on L. E. J. Brouwer, the 20th-century Dutch mathematician who built a contemporary philosophy of mathematics on constructivist themes which were quite explicitly Kantian. Brouwer’s theory is perhaps most notable for its belief that constructivism requires us to abandon the traditional logic of mathematical reasoning in favor of different canon of reasoning, (...) called intuitionistic logic. Brouwer thought that classical logic is intrinsically bound up with a nonconstructive view of mathematics. This means that, according to Brouwer, when we do mathematics we must give up bivalence, we must no longer use such familiar logical laws as excluded middle, and we must sometimes forebear from the classic method of reductio ad absurdum. All of these are intuitionistically invalid classical principles. (shrink)
L. E. J. Brouwer, the founder of mathematical intuitionism, believed that mathematics and its objects must be humanly graspable. He initiated a program rebuilding modern mathematics according to that principle. This book introduces the reader to the mathematical core of intuitionism – from elementary number theory through to Brouwer's uniform continuity theorem – and to the two central topics of 'formalized intuitionism': formal intuitionistic logic, and formal systems for intuitionistic analysis. Building on that, the book proposes a systematic, philosophical foundation (...) for intuitionism that weaves together doctrines about human grasp, mathematical objects and mathematical truth. (shrink)
Kant's views about mathematics were controversial in his own time, and they have inspired or infuriated thinkers ever since. Though specific Kantian doctrines fell into disrepute earlier in this century, the past twenty-five years have seen a surge of interest in and respect for Kant's philosophy of mathematics among both Kant scholars and philosophers of mathematics. The present volume includes the classic papers from the 1960s and 1970s which spared this renaissance of interest, together with updated postscripts by their authors. (...) It also includes the most important recent work on Kant's philosophy of mathematics. The essays bring to bear a wealth of detailed Kantian scholarship, together with powerful new interpretative tools drawn from modern mathematics, logic and philosophy. The cumulative effect of this collection upon the reader will be a deeper understanding of the centrality of mathematics in all aspects of Kant's thought and a renewed respect for the power of Kant's thinking about mathematics. The essays contained in this volume will set the agenda for further work on Kant's philosophy of mathematics for some time to come. (shrink)
IPC, the intuitionistic predicate calculus, has the property(i) Vc(A c /x) xA.Furthermore, for certain important , IPC has the converse property (ii) xA Vc(A c /x). (i) may be given up in various ways, corresponding to different philosophic intuitions and yielding different systems of intuitionistic free logic. The present paper proves the strong completeness of several of these with respect to Kripke style semantics. It also shows that giving up (i) need not force us to abandon the analogue of (ii).
Benacerraf’s Problem about mathematical truth displays a tension, indeed a seemingly unbridgeable gap, between Platonist foundations for mathematics on the one hand and Hilbert’s ‘finitary standpoint’ on the other. While that standpoint evinces an admirable philosophical unity, it is ultimately an effete rival to Platonism: It leaves mathematical practice untouched, even the highly non-constructive axiom of choice. Brouwer’s intuitionism is a more potent finitist rival, for it engenders significant deviation from standard (classical) mathematics. The essay illustrates three sorts of intuitionistic (...) deviations (weakening, refinement and outright contradiction), and goes on to sketch the technical tools and arguments that engender those clashes with classical mathematics and the philosophical principles underlying those arguments. Those philosophical principles coalesce into a “standpoint” no less unified and no less finitary that Hilbert’s. This intuitionistic standpoint is sufficiently detailed that it itself provides a benchmark for comparing all the rival positions; and it is sufficiently robust that it dissolves the Benacerrafian dichotomy. However, the intuitionistic refutation of the axiom of choice reveals two distinct sub-streams within that intuitionistic standpoint. Distinguishing these streams suggests perhaps that in spite of that robustness, intuitionism has an internal dichotomy parallel to the Benacerrafian split. The Benacerrafian split is a crack in the foundations of mathematics. But I shall argue that this internal intuitionistic dichotomy is not at all a foundational gap; it is rather a special insight about the nature of mathematical thought. (shrink)
It is argued that the tensed theory of the creative subject provides a natural formulation of the logic underlying Brouwer's notion of unextendable order and explains the link between that notion and virtual order. The tensed theory of the creative subject is also shown to be a useful tool for interpreting recent evidence about the stages of Brouwer's thinking concerning these two notions of order.