In the early years of the twentieth century, the so-called ‘postulate analysis’—the study of systems of axioms for mathematical objects for their own sake—was regarded by some as a vital part of the efforts to understand those objects. I consider the place of postulate analysis within early twentieth-century mathematics by focusing on the example of a group: I outline the axiomatic studies to which groups were subjected at this time and consider the changing attitudes towards such investigations.
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DOI 10.1007/s00407-017-0193-8
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