- A Comparing Study of Two Constructivisms on L.E.M.
- Oh, Chae-Hwan ; Kang, Ok-Ki ; Ree, Sang-Wook ;
- Journal for History of Mathematics, volume 24, issue 4, 2011, Pages 45~59
Abstract
Constructionists believe that mathematical knowledge is obtained by a series of purely mental constructions, with all mathematical objects existing only in the mind of the mathematician. But constructivism runs the risk of rejecting the classical laws of logic, especially the principle of bivalence and L. E. M.(Law of the Excluded Middle). This philosophy of mathematics also does not take into account the external world, and when it is taken to extremes it can mean that there is no possibility of communication from one mind to another. Two constructionists, Brouwer and Dummett, are common in rejecting the L. E. M. as a basic law of logic. As indicated by Dummett, those who first realized that rejecting realism entailed rejecting classical logic were the intuitionists of the school of Brouwer. However for Dummett, the debate between realists and antirealists is in fact a debate about semantics - about how language gets its meaning. This difference of initial viewpoints between the two constructionists makes Brouwer the intuitionist and Dummettthe the semantic anti-realist. This paper is confined to show that Dummett's proposal in favor of intuitionism differs from that of Brouwer. Brouwer's intuitionism maintained that the meaning of a mathematical sentence is essentially private and incommunicable. In contrast, Dummett's semantic anti-realism argument stresses the public and communicable character of the meaning of mathematical sentences.