(logic, mathematics) | intuitionistic logic - Brouwer's foundational theory of
mathematics which says that you should not count a proof of
(There exists x such that P(x)) valid unless the proof
actually gives a method of constructing such an x. Similarly,
a proof of (A or B) is valid only if it actually exhibits
either a proof of A or a proof of B.In intuitionism, you cannot in general assert the statement (A or not-A) (the principle of the excluded middle); (A or not-A) is not proven unless you have a proof of A or a proof of not-A. If A happens to be undecidable in your system (some things certainly will be), then there will be no proof of (A or not-A). This is pretty annoying; some kinds of perfectly healthy-looking examples of proof by contradiction just stop working. Of course, excluded middle is a theorem of classical logic (i.e. non-intuitionistic logic). History. |

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