The Russellian influence on Hilbert and his school

Synthese 137 (1-2):59 - 101 (2003)
Abstract
The aim of the paper is to discuss the influence exercised by Russell's thought inGöttingen in the period leading to the formulation of Hilbert's program in theearly twenties. I show that after a period of intense foundational work, culminatingwith the departure from Göttingen of Zermelo and Grelling in 1910 we witnessa reemergence of interest in foundations of mathematics towards the end of 1914. Itis this second period of foundational work that is my specific interest. Through theuse of unpublished archival sources I will describe how Hilbert, Behmann, and Bernays,among others, were influenced by and reacted to the technical and philosophical thesespresented in Principia Mathematica. I also argue that there are some elements of continuity between Russell's approach and Hilbert's program as it was presented inthe early twenties.
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