# constructive

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## constructive

1. Law deduced by inference or construction; not expressed but inferred
2. Law having a deemed legal effect

## constructive

(mathematics)
A proof that something exists is "constructive" if it provides a method for actually constructing it. Cantor's proof that the real numbers are uncountable can be thought of as a *non-constructive* proof that irrational numbers exist. (There are easy constructive proofs, too; but there are existence theorems with no known constructive proof).

Obviously, all else being equal, constructive proofs are better than non-constructive proofs. A few mathematicians actually reject *all* non-constructive arguments as invalid; this means, for instance, that the law of the excluded middle (either P or not-P must hold, whatever P is) has to go; this makes proof by contradiction invalid. See intuitionistic logic for more information on this.

Most mathematicians are perfectly happy with non-constructive proofs; however, the constructive approach is popular in theoretical computer science, both because computer scientists are less given to abstraction than mathematicians and because intuitionistic logic turns out to be the right theory for a theoretical treatment of the foundations of computer science.
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, when analyzing a conflict, it is important to examine varying degrees of destructiveness and constructiveness by looking at the means by which a conflict is waged and its outcome (Kriesberg, 1998).
While trans-identifying may lay the basis for students and teachers to create new spaces for more effective resistance and penetration into such "separate" discursive formations, breaking open the circulation of previous fixed chains of signifiers and meanings constituting such formations into new formations of discourse and group identities, one thing may occur overriding all other considerations: Communities may be brought about to sustain and nourish different, diverse, and disabled students in their engaging more proactively with regular students and teachers in building new instructional strategies for acceptance, translation and toleration as to how they talk and write, a basis for further dialogical constructiveness and collaboration.
Constructiveness in disciplinary situations refers to the degree to which managers offer suggestions to their disciplined subordinates as to how they might improve their performance in the future (Baron, 1988).
Such legislation is likely to be seen as culturally insensitive, as set up to fail Indigenous communities, while giving the appearance of federal government constructiveness.
A Hegelian dialectic of thesis-antithesis-synthesis process is at work, as the constructiveness of hewed footings is replaced by the destructive cutting down of trees, followed by something that combines parts of both: destructive activity performed on a tree, but at its "foot" (and leaving brass-like remnants that recall the wealth the Romans left behind).
WASHINGTON -- A plan that lays out a prescriptive timeline for Congress to achieve "steps" toward universal health care coverage within 7 years received kudos for its constructiveness but slim odds for its adoption.
One could rule out these solutions by a general constructiveness restriction on these descriptions.
The invasion of the Europeans did not destroy the native states, but it destroyed the dynamic of the state system; it reduced the old capitals from splendour to poverty and their chiefs from heroism to ambivalence, from constructiveness to stagnation (Tarling 1963: 8).
Fletcher, "Commentary: Constructiveness Where It Counts," pp.
75) Labourist discourse was replete with reference to civilization, progress, expansion, constructiveness, labour-capital cooperation -- not collaboration -- and the national interest.
However, even in juvenile court systems in which lawyers carry unconscionable caseloads, they are still in a unique position to assess their clients' alleged criminal activity, their clients' backgrounds, and the constructiveness of the sanctions and treatMent experienced by their clients.
Whitley (1992a) claims that due to the social constructiveness of the business recipes, the best practice is context dependent.

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