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By H.E. Rose and J.C. Shepherdson (Eds.)

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What is involved here is the passage from a subjunctive conditional of the form: A +(B v C) THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF INTUITIONISTIC LOGIC 37 to a disjunction of subjunctive conditionals of the form (A -+ B) v (A -+ C). Where the conditional is interpreted intuitionistically, this transition is, of course, invalid: but the subjunctive conditional of natural language does not coincide with the conditional of intuitionistic mathematics. It is, indeed, the case that the transition is not in general valid for the subjunctive conditional of natural language either: but, when we reflect on the cases in which the inference fails, it is difficult to avoid thinking that the present case is not one of them.

It is therefore wholly legitimate, and, indeed, essential, to frame the condition for the intuitionistic truth of a mathematical statement in THE PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF; INTUITIONISTIC mwc 31 terms which are intelligible to a Platonist and do not beg any questions, because they employ only notions which are not in dispute. The obvious way to do this is to say that a mathematical statement is intuitionistically true if there exists an (intuitionistic) proof of it, where the existence of a proof does not consist in its platonic existence in a realm outside space and time, but in our actual possession of it.

The truth-definition leaves such questions quite unanswered, because it does not provide for inflections of tense or mood of the predicate ‘is true’: it has been introduced only as a predicate as devoid of tense as are all ordinary mathematical predicates; but its role in our language does not reveal why such inflections of tense or even of mood should be forbidden. These difficulties raise their heads as soon as we make the attempt to introduce tense into mathematics, as intuitionism provides us with some inclination to do; this can be seen from the problems surrounding the theory of the creative subject.

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