intuitionist, n., adj.
/in'tooh ish"euh niz'euhm, -tyooh-/, n.
1. Ethics. the doctrine that moral values and duties can be discerned directly.
2. Metaphys.
a. the doctrine that in perception external objects are given immediately, without the intervention of a representative idea.
b. the doctrine that knowledge rests upon axiomatic truths discerned directly.
3. Logic, Math. the doctrine, propounded by L. E. J. Brouwer, that a mathematical object is considered to exist only if a method for constructing it can be given.
[1840-50; INTUITION + -ISM]

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In metaethics, a form of cognitivism that holds that moral statements can be known to be true or false immediately through a kind of rational intuition.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, intuitionism was defended by Ralph Cudworth, Henry More (1614–87), Samuel Clarke (1675–1729), and Richard Price (1723–91); in the 20th century its supporters included H.A Prichard (1871–1947), G.E. Moore, and David Ross. Intuitionists have differed over the kinds of moral truths that are amenable to direct apprehension. For example, whereas Moore thought that it is self-evident that certain things are morally valuable, Ross thought that we know immediately that it is our duty to do acts of a certain type.
School of mathematical thought introduced by the Dutch mathematician Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer (1881–1966).

In contrast with mathematical Platonism, which holds that mathematical concepts exist independent of any human realization of them, intuitionism holds that only those mathematical concepts that can be demonstrated, or constructed, following a finite number of steps are legitimate. Few mathematicians have been willing to abandon the vast realms of mathematics built with nonconstructive proofs.

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▪ philosophy of mathematics
      school of mathematical thought introduced by the 20th-century Dutch mathematician L.E.J. Brouwer that contends the primary objects of mathematical discourse are mental constructions governed by self-evident laws. Intuitionists have challenged many of the oldest principles of mathematics as being nonconstructive and hence mathematically meaningless. Compare formalism; logicism.

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Universalium. 2010.

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