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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.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on intuitionism, visit Britannica.com.