Mathematical Intuition Phenomenology and Mathematical Knowledge

Studia Logica 52 (3):484-486 (1993)
The thesis is a study of the notion of intuition in the foundations of mathematics which focuses on the case of natural numbers and hereditarily finite sets. Phenomenological considerations are brought to bear on some of the main objections that have been raised to this notion. ;Suppose that a person P knows that S only if S is true, P believes that S, and P's belief that S is produced by a process that gives evidence for it. On a phenomenological view the relevant evidence is provided by intuition , and this should be the case in either ordinary perceptual knowledge or in mathematical knowledge. Intuition is to be understood in terms of fulfillments of intentions. Knowledge is a product of intuition and intention. In the case of mathematical knowledge it is said that there is a construction for a mathematical statement S if and only if the intention expressed by S is fulfilled . Constructions are thus viewed as intuition processes that could actually or possibly be carried out. In elementary parts of mathematics they might be characterized in terms of certain classes of recursive functions. This view is discussed in the case where S is taken to be a singular statement about natural numbers or finite sets, and also where S is taken to be a general statement about such objects. The distinction between intuition of and intuition that is also investigated in this context. ;It is pointed out how on a phenomenological view a number of central problems about mathematical intuition can be avoided: problems about the analogousness of perceptual and mathematical intuition, about causal accounts of knowledge in mathematics, and about structuralism in mathematics. The bearing of the account on issues concerning constructivism and platonism is also discussed
Keywords Husserl, Edmund   Mathematics   Intuition
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Reprint years 1993
ISBN(s) 0792301315
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