Three Dogmas of First-Order Logic and some Evidence-based Consequences for Constructive Mathematics of differentiating between Hilbertian Theism, Brouwerian Atheism and Finitary Agnosticism


We show how removing faith-based beliefs in current philosophies of classical and constructive mathematics admits formal, evidence-based, definitions of constructive mathematics; of a constructively well-defined logic of a formal mathematical language; and of a constructively well-defined model of such a language. We argue that, from an evidence-based perspective, classical approaches which follow Hilbert's formal definitions of quantification can be labelled `theistic'; whilst constructive approaches based on Brouwer's philosophy of Intuitionism can be labelled `atheistic'. We then adopt what may be labelled a finitary, evidence-based, `agnostic' perspective and argue that Brouwerian atheism is merely a restricted perspective within the finitary agnostic perspective, whilst Hilbertian theism contradicts the finitary agnostic perspective. We then consider the argument that Tarski's classic definitions permit an intelligence---whether human or mechanistic---to admit finitary, evidence-based, definitions of the satisfaction and truth of the atomic formulas of the first-order Peano Arithmetic PA over the domain N of the natural numbers in two, hitherto unsuspected and essentially different, ways. We show that the two definitions correspond to two distinctly different---not necessarily evidence-based but complementary---assignments of satisfaction and truth to the compound formulas of PA over N. We further show that the PA axioms are true over N, and that the PA rules of inference preserve truth over N, under both the complementary interpretations; and conclude some unsuspected constructive consequences of such complementarity for the foundations of mathematics, logic, philosophy, and the physical sciences.



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