A view in the philosophy of mathematics which insists that mathematical entities (numbers, sets, proofs, and so on) can only be said to exist if they can be constructed; that is if some method can be specified for arriving at them on the basis of things we accept already.

One advantage of this is that various paradoxes can be excluded before they arise. A disadvantage may be that certain things are excluded that appear to be intuitively acceptable.

Varieties of constructivism include intuitionism, and (usually) finitism, while formalism is sometimes included and sometimes contrasted with it.


  • Constructivism (philosophy of mathematics), a philosophical view that asserts the necessity of constructing a mathematical object to prove that it exists
  • Constructivism (philosophy of science), a philosophical view maintaining that science consists of mental constructs created as the result of measuring the natural world
  • Moral constructivism or ethical constructivism, the view that moral facts are constructed rather than discovered
  • Social constructivism, the view that human development is socially situated and knowledge is constructed through interaction with others

Art and architecture

  • Constructivism (art), an early 20th-century artistic movement that extols art as a practice for social purposes
  • Constructivist architecture, an architectural movement in Russia in the 1920s and 1930s


  • Constructivism (philosophy of education), a theory about the nature of learning that focuses on how humans make meaning from their experiences
    • Constructivism in science education
    • Constructivist teaching methods, based on constructivist learning theory

Mathematics and sciences

  • Constructivism (international relations), a theory that stresses the socially constructed character of international relations
  • Constructivism (mathematics), a logic for founding mathematics that accepts only objects that can be effectively constructed
  • Constructivism (psychological school), a psychological approach that assumes that human knowledge is active and constructive
  • Constructivist institutionalism
  • Constructivist type theory

2 thoughts on “Constructivism

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