Can you find an xy-equation that, when graphed, writes itself on the plane? This idea became internet-famous when a Wikipedia article on Tupper’s self-referential formula went viral in 2012. Under scrutiny, the question has two flaws: it is meaningless (it depends on fonts) and it is trivial. We fix these flaws by formalizing the problem.
One shortcoming of the chain rule is that it does not iterate: it gives the derivative of f(g(x)), but not (directly) the second or higher-order derivatives. We present iterated differentials and a version of the multivariable chain rule which iterates to any desired level of derivative. We first present this material informally, and later discuss how to make it rigorous (a discussion which touches on formal foundations of calculus). We also suggest a finite calculus chain rule (contrary to Graham, Knuth (...) and Patashnik's claim that "there's no corresponding chain rule of finite calculus"). (shrink)
Brouwer’s intuitionism was a far-reaching attempt to reform the foundations of mathematics. While the mathematical community was reluctant to accept Brouwer’s work, its response to later-developed brands of intuitionism, such as those presented by Hermann Weyl and Arend Heyting, was different. The paper accounts for this difference by analyzing the intuitionistic versions of Brouwer, Weyl, and Heyting in light of a two-tiered model of the body and image of mathematical knowledge. Such a perspective provides a richer account of each story (...) and points to a possible connection between the community’s reaction and the changes each mathematician had proposed. (shrink)
Mathematical formalism is the the view that numbers are "signs" and that arithmetic is like a game played with such signs. Frege's colleague Thomae defended formalism using an analogy with chess, and Frege's critique of this analogy has had a major influence on discussions in analytic philosophy about signs, rules, meaning, and mathematics. Here I offer a new interpretation of formalism as defended by Thomae and his predecessors, paying close attention to the mathematical details and historical context. I argue that (...) for Thomae, the formal standpoint is an _algebraic perspective_ on a domain of objects, and a "sign" is not a linguistic expression or mark, but a representation of an object within that perspective. Thomae exploits a shift into this perspective to give a purely algebraic construction of the real numbers from the rational numbers. I suggest that Thomae's chess analogy is intended to provide a model for such shifts in perspective. (shrink)
Cet ouvrage offre une introduction accessible à la théorie de la démonstration : il donne les détails des preuves et comporte de nombreux exemples et exercices pour faciliter la compréhension des lecteurs. Il est également conçu pour servir d’aide à la lecture des articles fondateurs de Gerhard Gentzen. L’ouvrage introduit également aux trois principaux formalismes en usage : l’approche axiomatique des preuves, la déduction naturelle et le calcul des séquents. Il donne une démonstration claire et détaillée des résultats fondamentaux du (...) domaine : traduction de l’arithmétique classique vers l’arithmétique intuitionniste, élimination des coupures, théorème de normalisation et conduit ensuite pas à pas le lecteur vers l’exposé de la célèbre preuve de cohérence de Gentzen pour l’arithmétique de Peano du premier ordre. Il comble ainsi une importante lacune éditoriale en présentant à la fois la théorie structurelle et la théorie ordinale de la démonstration. (shrink)
Frege says, at the end of a discussion of formalism in the Foundations of Arithmetic, that his own foundational program “could be called formal” but is “completely different” from the view he has just criticized. This essay examines Frege’s relationship to Hermann Hankel, his main formalist interlocutor in the Foundations, in order to make sense of these claims. The investigation reveals a surprising result: Frege’s foundational program actually has quite a lot in common with Hankel’s. This undercuts Frege’s claim that (...) his own view is completely different from Hankel’s formalism, and motivates a closer examination of where the differences lie. On the interpretation offered here, Frege shares important parts of the formalist perspective, but differs in recognizing a kind of content for arithmetical terms which can only be made available via proof from prior postulates. (shrink)
An Introduction to Proof Theory provides an accessible introduction to the theory of proofs, with details of proofs worked out and examples and exercises to aid the reader's understanding. It also serves as a companion to reading the original pathbreaking articles by Gerhard Gentzen. The first half covers topics in structural proof theory, including the Gödel-Gentzen translation of classical into intuitionistic logic, natural deduction and the normalization theorems, the sequent calculus, including cut-elimination and mid-sequent theorems, and various applications of these (...) results. The second half examines ordinal proof theory, specifically Gentzen's consistency proof for first-order Peano Arithmetic. The theory of ordinal notations and other elements of ordinal theory are developed from scratch, and no knowledge of set theory is presumed. The proof methods needed to establish proof-theoretic results, especially proof by induction, are introduced in stages throughout the text. Mancosu, Galvan, and Zach's introduction will provide a solid foundation for those looking to understand this central area of mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
This book publishes the previously unpublished Wittgenstein-Skinner Archive held in Trinity College Cambridge Wren Library. The principal Editor is Arthur Gibson, joined by the Editor Niamh O'Mahony in the editing project. The manuscripts were transcribed by Arthur Gibson, checked and edited by Niamh O'Mahony and Arthur Gibson, with additional assistance from Kelsey Gibson. The Chapters that reproduce the Archive, including the Preface, and Part I (chapters 1 and 2) are authored by Arthur Gibson. Arthur Gibson and Niamh O'Mahony jointly edited (...) the Appendices and variously authored parts of the Appendices' introductions and notes. The Foreword was contributed by Professor Brian McGuinness. (shrink)
A principle, according to which any scientific theory can be mathematized, is investigated. Social science, liberal arts, history, and philosophy are meant first of all. That kind of theory is presupposed to be a consistent text, which can be exhaustedly represented by a certain mathematical structure constructively. In thus used, the term “theory” includes all hypotheses as yet unconfirmed as already rejected. The investigation of the sketch of a possible proof of the principle demonstrates that it should be accepted rather (...) a metamathematical axiom about the relation of mathematics and reality. The main statement is formulated as follows: Any scientific theory admits isomorphism to some mathematical structure in a way constructive. Its investigation needs philosophical means. Husserl’s phenomenology is what is used, and then the conception of “bracketing reality” is modelled to generalize Peano arithmetic in its relation to set theory in the foundation of mathematics. The obtained model is equivalent to the generalization of Peano arithmetic by means of replacing the axiom of induction with that of transfinite induction. The sketch of the proof is organized in five steps: a generalization of epoché; involving transfinite induction in the transition between Peano arithmetic and set theory; discussing the finiteness of Peano arithmetic; applying transfinite induction to Peano arithmetic; discussing an arithmetical model of reality. Accepting or rejecting the principle, two kinds of mathematics appear differing from each other by its relation to reality. Accepting the principle, mathematics has to include reality within itself in a kind of Pythagoreanism. These two kinds are called in paper correspondingly Hilbert mathematics and Gödel mathematics. The sketch of the proof of the principle demonstrates that the generalization of Peano arithmetic as above can be interpreted as a model of Hilbert mathematics into Gödel mathematics therefore showing that the former is not less consistent than the latter, and the principle is an independent axiom. The present paper follows a pathway grounded on Husserl’s phenomenology and “bracketing reality” to achieve the generalized arithmetic necessary for the principle to be founded in alternative ontology, in which there is no reality external to mathematics: reality is included within mathematics. That latter mathematics is able to self-found itself and can be called Hilbert mathematics in honour of Hilbert’s program for self-founding mathematics on the base of arithmetic. The principle of universal mathematizability is consistent to Hilbert mathematics, but not to Gödel mathematics. Consequently, its validity or rejection would resolve the problem which mathematics refers to our being; and vice versa: the choice between them for different reasons would confirm or refuse the principle as to the being. An information interpretation of Hilbert mathematics is involved. It is a kind of ontology of information. The Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics is involved to illustrate that ontology. Thus the problem which of the two mathematics is more relevant to our being is discussed again in a new way A few directions for future work can be: a rigorous formal proof of the principle as an independent axiom; the further development of information ontology consistent to both kinds of mathematics, but much more natural for Hilbert mathematics; the development of the information interpretation of quantum mechanics as a mathematical one for information ontology and thus Hilbert mathematics; the description of consciousness in terms of information ontology. (shrink)
The paper introduces and utilizes a few new concepts: “nonstandard Peano arithmetic”, “complementary Peano arithmetic”, “Hilbert arithmetic”. They identify the foundations of both mathematics and physics demonstrating the equivalence of the newly introduced Hilbert arithmetic and the separable complex Hilbert space of quantum mechanics in turn underlying physics and all the world. That new both mathematical and physical ground can be recognized as information complemented and generalized by quantum information. A few fundamental mathematical problems of the present such as Fermat’s (...) last theorem, four-color theorem as well as its new-formulated generalization as “four-letter theorem”, Poincaré’s conjecture, “P vs NP” are considered over again, from and within the new-founding conceptual reference frame of information, as illustrations. Simple or crucially simplifying solutions and proofs are demonstrated. The link between the consistent completeness of the system mathematics-physics on the ground of information and all the great mathematical problems of the present (rather than the enumerated ones) is suggested. (shrink)
This paper scrutinizes the debate over logical pluralism. I hope to make this debate more tractable by addressing the question of motivating data: what would count as strong evidence in favor of logical pluralism? Any research program should be able to answer this question, but when faced with this task, many logical pluralists fall back on brute intuitions. This sets logical pluralism on a weak foundation and makes it seem as if nothing pressing is at stake in the debate. The (...) present paper aims to improve this situation by looking at a promising case study and drawing general lessons about the kind of evidence that would support logical pluralism. I argue that the best motivation for logical pluralism will ultimately be rooted in certain kinds of performative data. (shrink)
Gentzen's three consistency proofs for elementary number theory have a common aim that originates from Hilbert's Program, namely, the aim to justify the application of classical reasoning to quantified propositions in elementary number theory. In addition to this common aim, Gentzen gave a “finitist” interpretation to every number-theoretic proposition with his 1935 and 1936 consistency proofs. In the present paper, we investigate the relationship of this interpretation with intuitionism in terms of the debate between the Hilbert School and the Brouwer (...) School over the significance of consistency proofs. First, we argue that the interpretation had the role of responding to a Brouwer-style objection against the significance of consistency proofs. Second, we propose a way of understanding Gentzen's response to this objection from an intuitionist perspective. (shrink)
This study aims to find out how high the level and trends of student misconceptions experienced by high school students in Indonesia. The subject of research that is a class XI student of Natural Science (IPA) SMA Negeri 1 Anjatan with the subject matter limit function. Forms of research used in this study is a qualitative research, with a strategy that is descriptive qualitative research. The data analysis focused on the results of the students' answers on the test essay subject (...) matter limit function with the number of students by 16 (sixteen). Data collection techniques used are shaped test methods essay, interview method to students who have misconceptions, and methods of documentation of the test answers. Examination of the validity of the data using a triangulation technique that compares the data written test results with data from interviews. The results of this study can be described as follows; (1) The level of misconceptions experienced by students belonging to the category of low, amounting to 12.18%. However, students who do not understand the concept quite high at 40.38%, and the others are students who understand the concept that is equal to 47.44%. (2) The misconception most experienced students lie in subconcepts explain the meaning of limit function at one point through the calculation of values around that point, that is equal to 20.51%. The tendency misconceptions experienced by students is located on errors and operating concepts that misconceptions students that there should be no limit in the completion of the writing of the emblem and misconceptions about the limit students to conclude if the limit value of 0 is no limit to the value of the function. (shrink)
Filtration combustion is described by Laplacian growth without surface tension. These equations have elegant analytical solutions that replace the complex integro-differential motion equations by simple differential equations of pole motion in a complex plane. The main problem with such a solution is the existence of finite time singularities. To prevent such singularities, nonzero surface tension is usually used. However, nonzero surface tension does not exist in filtration combustion, and this destroys the analytical solutions. However, a more elegant approach exists for (...) solving the problem. First, we can introduce a small amount of pole noise to the system. Second, for regularisation of the problem, we throw out all new poles that can produce a finite time singularity. It can be strictly proved that the asymptotic solution for such a system is a single finger. Moreover, the qualitative consideration demonstrates that a finger with 1 2 of the channel width is statistically stable. Therefore, all properties of such a solution are exactly the same as those of the solution with nonzero surface tension under numerical noise. The solution of the ST problem without surface tension is similar to the solution for the equation of cellular flames in the case of the combustion of gas mixtures. (shrink)
Peano arithmetic cannot serve as the ground of mathematics for it is inconsistent to infinity, and infinity is necessary for its foundation. Though Peano arithmetic cannot be complemented by any axiom of infinity, there exists at least one (logical) axiomatics consistent to infinity. That is nothing else than a new reading at issue and comparative interpretation of Gödel’s papers (1930; 1931) meant here. Peano arithmetic admits anyway generalizations consistent to infinity and thus to some addable axiom(s) of infinity. The most (...) utilized example of those generalizations is the complex Hilbert space. Any generalization of Peano arithmetic consistent to infinity, e.g. the complex Hilbert space, can serve as a foundation for mathematics to found itself and by itself. (shrink)
In the article, philosophical and methodological analysis of the program of Hilbert’s formalism as a really working direction for consideration of the bases of modern mathematics is presented. For the professional mathematicians methodological advantages of the program of formalism advanced by David Hilbert, consist primarily in the fact that the highest possible level of theoretical rigor of modern mathematical theories was practically represented there. To resolve the fundamental difficulties of the problem of bases of mathematics, according to Hilbert, the theory (...) of mathematical proof is needed, but contrary to popular belief rigorous formalization of the proof is not a synonym of reliability and rigor of mathematical reasoning from the point of view of the philosophy of the foundations of mathematics. In fact, the consistency of the theories is "more important" than their logical consistency because not every statement, which does not contradict to the reasonable ones, can be attributed to a true statement. However, for working mathematicians, Hilbert is logical and consistent and the axiomatic method and formalism are an essential part of their rules of thinking. (shrink)
The formalist philosophy of mathematics (in its purest, most extreme version) is widely regarded as a “discredited position”. This pure and extreme version of formalism is called by some authors “game formalism”, because it is alleged to represent mathematics as a meaningless game with strings of symbols. Nevertheless, I would like to draw attention to some arguments in favour of game formalism as an appropriate philosophy of real mathematics. For the most part, these arguments have not yet been used or (...) were neglected in past discussions. (shrink)
Detlefsen (1986) reads Hilbert's program as a sophisticated defense of instrumentalism, but Feferman (1998) has it that Hilbert's program leaves significant ontological questions unanswered. One such question is of the reference of individual number terms. Hilbert's use of admittedly "meaningless" signs for numbers and formulae appears to impair his ability to establish the reference of mathematical terms and the content of mathematical propositions (Weyl (1949); Kitcher (1976)). The paper traces the history and context of Hilbert's reasoning about signs, which illuminates (...) Hilbert's account of mathematical objectivity, axiomatics, idealization, and consistency. (shrink)
This paper argues that Weyl took formalism to prevail over intuitionism with respect to supporting scientific objectivity, rather than grounding classical mathematics, and that this was what he thought was enough for rejecting pure phenomenology as well.
We show that a statement HIL, which is motivated by a lemma of Hilbert and close in formulation to Hindman’s theorem, is actually much weaker than Hindman’s theorem. In particular, HIL is finitistically reducible in the sense of Hilbert’s program, while Hindman’s theorem is not.
This article develops a critical investigation of the epistemological core of Hilbert's foundational project, the so-called the finitary attitude. The investigation proceeds by distinguishing different senses of 'number' and 'finitude' that have been used in the philosophical arguments. The usual notion of modern pure mathematics, i.e. the sense of number which is implicit in the notion of an arbitrary finite sequence and iteration is one sense of number and finitude. Another sense, of older origin, is connected with practices of counting (...) concrete things, and a third sense is linked up with the immediate intuitive experience of multitudes of concrete things. Hilbert's fìnitism is examined with respect to these differences, and it will be shown that there is a tendency to conflate the different senses of number and fìnitude, a tendency which has been a source of problems in the discussion of the foundations of mathematics and in the philosophy of logic and language. (shrink)
Alan Weir’s new book is, like Darwin’s Origin of Species, ‘one long argument’. The author has devised a new kind of have-it-both-ways philosophy of mathematics, supposed to allow him to say out of one side of his mouth that the integer 1,000,000 exists and even that the cardinal ℵω exists, while saying out of the other side of his mouth that no numbers exist at all, and the whole book is devoted to an exposition and defense of this new view. (...) The view is presented in the book in a way that can make it difficult for the reader to trace the main line of argument: with a great deal of apparatus, and with a great many digressions into subordinate issues. In what follows I will try to stick to what I take to be the essentials, even at the risk of oversimplifying some central but complicated issues, and at the cost of neglecting some interesting but peripheral ones.In chapter 1, the author introduces a distinction between what he calls ‘two aspects of meaning’ and dubs informational content and metaphysical content. Informational content is the aspect of meaning of primary interest to linguists, and the one of which speakers themselves are generally aware, at least upon reflection. Metaphysical content is supposed to be another aspect of meaning primarily of interest to philosophers. The basic idea is that if there are standards of correctness for assertions of a certain kind, then such an assertion may be called ‘true’ when those standards are met, even though the kind of correctness involved is not correctness in representing how the world is. What the world must be like in order for the utterance to be true is the metaphysical content of the assertion, but it need not be part of its …. (shrink)
Can the so-ca\led first incompleteness theorem refer to itself? Many or maybe even all the paradoxes in mathematics are connected with some kind of self-reference. Gбdel built his proof on the ground of self-reference: а statement which claims its unprovabllity. So, he demonstrated that undecidaЬle propositions exist in any enough rich axiomatics (i.e. such one which contains Peano arithmetic in some sense). What about the decidabllity of the very first incompleteness theorem? We can display that it fulfills its conditions. That's (...) why it can Ье applied to itself, proving that it is an undecidaЬle statement. It seems to Ье а too strange kind of proposition: its validity implies its undecidabllity. If the validity of а statement implies its untruth, then it is either untruth (reductio ad absurdum) or an antinomy (if also its negation implies its validity). А theory that contains а contradiction implies any statement. Appearing of а proposition, whose validity implies its undecidabllity, is due to the statement that claims its unprovability. Obviously, it is а proposition of self-referential type. Ву Gбdel's words, it is correlative with Richard's or liar paradox, or even with any other semantic or mathematical one. What is the cost, if а proposition of that special kind is used in а proof? ln our opinion, the price is analogous to «applying» of а contradictory in а theory: any statement turns out to Ье undecidaЬ!e. Ifthe first incompleteness theorem is an undecidaЬ!e theorem, then it is impossiЬle to prove that the very completeness of Peano arithmetic is also an tmdecidaЬle statement (the second incompleteness theorem). Hilbert's program for ап arithmetical self-foundation of matheшatics is partly rehabllitated: only partly, because it is not decidaЬ!e and true, but undecidaЬle; that's wby both it and its negation шау Ье accepted as true, however not siшultaneously true. The first incompleteness theoreш gains the statute of axiom of а very special, semi-philosophical kind: it divides mathematics as whole into two parts: either Godel шathematics or Нilbert matheшatics. Нilbert's program of self-foundation ofmatheшatic is valid only as to the latter. (shrink)
Truth Through Proof defends an anti-platonist philosophy of mathematics derived from game formalism. Alan Weir aims to develop a more satisfactory successor to game formalism utilising a widely accepted, broadly neo-Fregean framework, in which the proposition expressed by an utterance is a function of both sense and background circumstance.
David Hilbert’s early foundational views, especially those corresponding to the 1890s, are analysed here. I consider strong evidence for the fact that Hilbert was a logicist at that time, following upon Dedekind’s footsteps in his understanding of pure mathematics. This insight makes it possible to throw new light on the evolution of Hilbert’s foundational ideas, including his early contributions to the foundations of geometry and the real number system. The context of Dedekind-style logicism makes it possible to offer a new (...) analysis of the emergence of Hilbert’s famous ideas on mathematical existence, now seen as a revision of basic principles of the “naive logic” of sets. At the same time, careful scrutiny of his published and unpublished work around the turn of the century uncovers deep differences between his ideas about consistency proofs before and after 1904. Along the way, we cover topics such as the role of sets and of the dichotomic conception of set theory in Hilbert’s early axiomatics, and offer detailed analyses of Hilbert’s paradox and of his completeness axiom (Vollständigkeitsaxiom). (shrink)
Most scholars think of David Hilbert's program as the most demanding and ideologically motivated attempt to provide a foundation for mathematics, and because they see technical obstacles in the way of realizing the program's goals, they regard it as a failure. Against this view, Curtis Franks argues that Hilbert's deepest and most central insight was that mathematical techniques and practices do not need grounding in any philosophical principles. He weaves together an original historical account, philosophical analysis, and his own development (...) of the meta-mathematics of weak systems of arithmetic to show that the true philosophical significance of Hilbert's program is that it makes the autonomy of mathematics evident. The result is a vision of the early history of modern logic that highlights the rich interaction between its conceptual problems and technical development. (shrink)
According to the received view, formalism – interpreted as the thesis that mathematical truth does not outrun the consequences of our maximal mathematical theory – has been refuted by Goedel's theorem. In support of this claim, proponents of the received view usually invoke an informal argument for the truth of the Goedel sentence, an argument which is supposed to reconstruct our reasoning in seeing its truth. Against this, Field has argued in a series of papers that the principles involved in (...) this argument – when applied to our maximal mathematical theory – are unsound. This paper defends the received view by showing that there is a way of seeing the truth of the Goedel sentence which is immune to Field's strategy. (shrink)
The epsilon calculus is a logical formalism developed by David Hilbert in the service of his program in the foundations of mathematics. The epsilon operator is a term-forming operator which replaces quantifiers in ordinary predicate logic. Specifically, in the calculus, a term εx A denotes some x satisfying A(x), if there is one. In Hilbert's Program, the epsilon terms play the role of ideal elements; the aim of Hilbert's finitistic consistency proofs is to give a procedure which removes such terms (...) from a formal proof. The procedures by which this is to be carried out are based on Hilbert's epsilon substitution method. The epsilon calculus, however, has applications in other contexts as well. The first general application of the epsilon calculus was in Hilbert's epsilon theorems, which in turn provide the basis for the first correct proof of Herbrand's theorem. More recently, variants of the epsilon operator have been applied in linguistics and linguistic philosophy to deal with anaphoric pronouns. (shrink)
This is a survey of Gödel's perennial preoccupations with the limits of finitism, its relations to constructivity, and the significance of his incompleteness theorems for Hilbert's program, using his published and unpublished articles and lectures as well as the correspondence between Bernays and Gödel on these matters. There is also an important subtext, namely the shadow of Hilbert that loomed over Gödel from the beginning to the end.
The period in the foundations of mathematics that started in 1879 with the publication of Frege's Begriffsschrift and ended in 1931 with Gödel's Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I can reasonably be called the classical period. It saw the development of three major foundational programmes: the logicism of Frege, Russell and Whitehead, the intuitionism of Brouwer, and Hilbert's formalist and proof-theoretic programme. In this period, there were also lively exchanges between the various schools culminating in (...) the famous Hilbert-Brouwer controversy in the 1920s. -/- The purpose of this anthology is to review the programmes in the foundations of mathematics from the classical period and to assess their possible relevance for contemporary philosophy of mathematics. What can we say, in retrospect, about the various foundational programmes of the classical period and the disputes that took place between them? To what extent do the classical programmes of logicism, intuitionism and formalism represent options that are still alive today? These questions are addressed in this volume by leading mathematical logicians and philosophers of mathematics. (shrink)
Friedrich Waismann, a little-known mathematician and onetime student of Wittgenstein's, provides answers to problems that vexed Wittgenstein in his attempt to explicate the foundations of mathematics through an analysis of its practice. Waismann argues in favor of mathematical intuition and the reality of infinity with a Wittgensteinian twist. Waismann's arguments lead toward an approach to the foundation of mathematics that takes into consideration the language and practice of experts.
In a recent article, Azzouni has argued in favor of a version of formalism according to which ordinary mathematical proofs indicate mechanically checkable derivations. This is taken to account for the quasi-universal agreement among mathematicians on the validity of their proofs. Here, the author subjects these claims to a critical examination, recalls the technical details about formalization and mechanical checking of proofs, and illustrates the main argument with aanalysis of examples. In the author's view, much of mathematical reasoning presents genuine (...) meaning-dependent mathematical characteristics that cannot be captured by formal calculi. ‘…there is a conflict between mathematical practice and the formalist doctrine.’ [Kreisel, 1969, p. 39]. (shrink)
Formalism shares with nominalism a distaste for _abstracta_. But an honest exposition of the former position risks introducing _abstracta_ as the stuff of syntax. This article describes the dangers, and offers a new escape route from platonism for the formalist. It is explained how the needed role of derivations in mathematical practice can be explained, not by a commitment to the derivations themselves, but by the commitment of the mathematician to a practice which is in accord with a theory of (...) derivations. (shrink)
The theory that ``consistency implies existence'' was put forward by Hilbert on various occasions around the start of the last century, and it was strongly and explicitly emphasized in his correspondence with Frege. Since (Gödel's) completeness theorem, abstractly speaking, forms the basis of this theory, it has become common practice to assume that Hilbert took for granted the semantic completeness of second order logic. In this paper I maintain that this widely held view is untrue to the facts, and that (...) the clue to explain what Hilbert meant by linking together consistency and existence is to be found in the role played by the completeness axiom within both geometrical and arithmetical axiom systems. (shrink)
It is shown that David Hilbert's formalistic approach to axiomaticis accompanied by a certain pragmatism that is compatible with aphilosophical, or, so to say, external foundation of mathematics.Hilbert's foundational programme can thus be seen as areconciliation of Pragmatism and Apriorism. This interpretation iselaborated by discussing two recent positions in the philosophy ofmathematics which are or can be related to Hilbert's axiomaticalprogramme and his formalism. In a first step it is argued that thepragmatism of Hilbert's axiomatic contradicts the opinion thatHilbert style (...) axiomatical systems are closed systems, a reproachposed by Carlo Cellucci. In the second section the question isdiscussed whether Hilbert's pragmatism in foundational issuescomes close to an a-philosophical ``naturalism in mathematics'' assuggested by Penelope Maddy. The answer is ``no'', because forHilbert philosophy had its specific tasks in the general projectto found mathematics. This is illuminated in the concludingsection giving further evidence for Hilbert's foundationalapriorism by discussing his ``axiom of the existence of mind'' andrelating it to the ``one and only axiom'' of the German algebraistof logic, Ernst Schröder, postulating the inherence of signs onthe paper. (shrink)
After sketching the main lines of Hilbert's program, certain well-known andinfluential interpretations of the program are critically evaluated, and analternative interpretation is presented. Finally, some recent developments inlogic related to Hilbert's program are reviewed.
In the early 1920s, the German mathematician David Hilbert (1862–1943) put forward a new proposal for the foundation of classical mathematics which has come to be known as Hilbert's Program. It calls for a formalization of all of mathematics in axiomatic form, together with a proof that this axiomatization of mathematics is consistent. The consistency proof itself was to be carried out using only what Hilbert called “finitary” methods. The special epistemological character of finitary reasoning then yields the required justification (...) of classical mathematics. Although Hilbert proposed his program in this form only in 1921, various facets of it are rooted in foundational work of his going back until around 1900, when he first pointed out the necessity of giving a direct consistency proof of analysis. Work on the program progressed significantly in the 1920s with contributions from logicians such as Paul Bernays, Wilhelm Ackermann, John von Neumann, and Jacques Herbrand. It was also a great influence on Kurt Gödel, whose work on the incompleteness theorems were motivated by Hilbert's Program. Gödel's work is generally taken to show that Hilbert's Program cannot be carried out. It has nevertheless continued to be an influential position in the philosophy of mathematics, and, starting with the work of Gerhard Gentzen in the 1930s, work on so-called Relativized Hilbert Programs have been central to the development of proof theory. (shrink)
We consider a seemingly popular justification (we call it the Re-flexivity Defense) for the third derivability condition of the Hilbert-Bernays-Löb generalization of Godel's Second Incompleteness Theorem (G2). We argue that (i) in certain settings (rouglily, those where the representing theory of an arithmetization is allowed to be a proper subtheory of the represented theory), use of the Reflexivity Defense to justify the tliird condition induces a fourth condition, and that (ii) the justification of this fourth condition faces serious obstacles. We (...) conclude that, in the types of settings mentioned, the Reflexivity Defense does not justify the usual ‘reading’ of G2—namely, that the consistency of the represented theory is not provable in the representing theory. (shrink)
Hilbert’s program in the philosophy of mathematics comes in two parts. One part is a technical part. To carry out this part of the program one has to prove a certain technical result. The other part of the program is a philosophical part. It is concerned with philosophical questions that are the real aim of the program. To carry out this part one, basically, has to show why the technical part answers the philosophical questions one wanted to have answered. Hilbert (...) probably thought that he had completed the philosophical part of his program, maybe up to a few details. What was left to do was the technical part. To carry it out one, roughly, had to give a precise axiomatization of mathematics and show that it is consistent on purely finitistic grounds. This would come down to giving a relative consistency proof of mathematics in finitist mathematics, or to give a proof-theoretic reduction of mathematics on to finitist mathematics (we will look at these notions in more detail soon). It is widely believed that Gödel’s theorems showed that the technical part of Hilbert’s program could not be carried out. Gödel’s theorems show that the consistency of arithmetic can not even be proven in arithmetic, not to speak of by finitistic means alone. So, the technical part of Hilbert’s program is hopeless, and since Hilbert’s program essentially relied on both the technical and the philosophical part, Hilbert’s program as a whole is hopeless. Justified as this attitude is, it is a bit unfortunate. It is unfortunate because it takes away too much attention from the philosophical part of Hilbert’s program. And this is unfortunate for two reasons. (shrink)