Constructive truth and certainty in logic and mathematics

Abstract

The theme « Truth and Certainty » is reminiscent of Hegel’s dialectic of prominent in the Phänomenologie des Geistes, but I want to treat it from a different angle in the perspective of the constructivist stance in the foundations of logic and mathematics. Although constructivism stands in opposition to mathematical realism, it is not to be considered as an idealist alternative in the philosophy of mathematics. It is true that Brouwer’s intuitionism, as a variety of constructivism, has idealistic overtones, but my main concern in this paper is located in the mathematical tradition of constructive mathematics from the Greeks to Fermat, Gauss and Kronecker, and from the logical side, in the finitist doctrine of Hilbert and his followers.

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Yvon Gauthier
Université de Montréal

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