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Logos and Máthēma

Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics and History of Logic


Roman Murawski

The volume contains twenty essays devoted to the philosophy of mathematics and the history of logic. They have been divided into four parts: general philosophical problems of mathematics, Hilbert’s program vs. the incompleteness phenomenon, philosophy of mathematics in Poland, mathematical logic in Poland. Among considered problems are: epistemology of mathematics, the meaning of the axiomatic method, existence of mathematical objects, distinction between proof and truth, undefinability of truth, Gödel’s theorems and computer science, philosophy of mathematics in Polish mathematical and logical schools, beginnings of mathematical logic in Poland, contribution of Polish logicians to recursion theory.


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Part II: Hilbert’s Program vs. Incompleteness Phenomenon


Part II Hilbert’s Program vs. Incompleteness Phenomenon Hilbert’s Program: Incompleteness Theorems vs. Partial Realizations 1. Hilbert’s Program Mathematics on the turn of the 19th century was characterized by the intense development on the one hand and by the appearance of some difficulties in its foundations on the other. Main controversy centered around the problem of the legitimacy of abstract objects. The works of K. Weierstrass have contributed to the clarification of the roˆle of the infinite in calculus. Set theory founded and developed by G. Cantor promised to mathematics new heights of generality, clarity and rigor. Unfortunately paradoxes appeared. Some of them were known already to Cantor (e.g., the paradox of the set of all ordinals and the paradox of the set of all sets1) and they could be removed by appropriate modifications of set theory (cf. Cantor’s distinction between absolut unendliche or inkonsistente Vielheiten and konsistente Vielheiten, i.e., between classes and sets2). Frege’s attempt to realize the idea of the reduction of mathematics to logic (which was in fact a continuation of the idea of the arithmetization of analysis developed among others by Weierstrass) led to a really embarrassing contradiction discovered in Frege’s system by B. Russel and known today as Russell’s antinomy or as the antinomy of nonreflexive classes. This meant a crisis of the foundations of mathematics (called the second crisis the first being the crisis caused by the discovery of incommensurable segments in the ancient Greek mathematics). Various ways of overcoming those difficulties and of...

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