Hilbert’s program was an ambitious and wide-ranging project in the philosophy and foundations of mathematics. In order to “dispose of the foundational questions in mathematics once and for all,” Hilbert proposed a two-pronged approach in 1921: first, classical mathematics should be formalized in axiomatic systems; second, using only restricted, “finitary” means, one should give proofs of the consistency of these axiomatic systems. Although Gödel’s incompleteness theorems show that the program as originally conceived cannot be carried out, it had many partial (...) successes, and generated important advances in logical theory and metatheory, both at the time and since. The article discusses the historical background and development of Hilbert’s program, its philosophical underpinnings and consequences, and its subsequent development and influences since the 1930s. (shrink)
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)
Although arguments for and against competing theories of vagueness often appeal to claims about the use of vague predicates by ordinary speakers, such claims are rarely tested. An exception is Bonini et al. (1999), who report empirical results on the use of vague predicates by Italian speakers, and take the results to count in favor of epistemicism. Yet several methodological difficulties mar their experiments; we outline these problems and devise revised experiments that do not show the same results. We then (...) describe three additional empirical studies that investigate further claims in the literature on vagueness: the hypothesis that speakers confuse ‘P’ with ‘definitely P’, the relative persuasiveness of different formulations of the inductive premise of the Sorites, and the interaction of vague predicates with three different forms of negation. (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..
The period from 1900 to 1935 was particularly fruitful and important for the development of logic and logical metatheory. This survey is organized along eight "itineraries" concentrating on historically and conceptually linked strands in this development. Itinerary I deals with the evolution of conceptions of axiomatics. Itinerary II centers on the logical work of Bertrand Russell. Itinerary III presents the development of set theory from Zermelo onward. Itinerary IV discusses the contributions of the algebra of logic tradition, in particular, Löwenheim (...) and Skolem. Itinerary V surveys the work in logic connected to the Hilbert school, and itinerary V deals specifically with consistency proofs and metamathematics, including the incompleteness theorems. Itinerary VII traces the development of intuitionistic and many-valued logics. Itinerary VIII surveys the development of semantical notions from the early work on axiomatics up to Tarski's work on truth. (shrink)
First-order Gödel logics are a family of finite- or infinite-valued logics where the sets of truth values V are closed subsets of [0,1] containing both 0 and 1. Different such sets V in general determine different Gödel logics GV (sets of those formulas which evaluate to 1 in every interpretation into V). It is shown that GV is axiomatizable iff V is finite, V is uncountable with 0 isolated in V, or every neighborhood of 0 in V is uncountable. Complete (...) axiomatizations for each of these cases are given. The r.e. prenex, negation-free, and existential fragments of all first-order Gödel logics are also characterized. (shrink)
Hilbert's ε-calculus is based on an extension of the language of predicate logic by a term-forming operator ex. Two fundamental results about the ε-calculus, the first and second epsilon theorem, play a rôle similar to that which the cut-elimination theorem plays in sequent calculus. In particular, Herbrand's Theorem is a consequence of the epsilon theorems. The paper investigates the epsilon theorems and the complexity of the elimination procedure underlying their proof, as well as the length of Herbrand disjunctions of existential (...) theorems obtained by this elimination procedure. (shrink)
In the 1920s, Ackermann and von Neumann, in pursuit of Hilbert's programme, were working on consistency proofs for arithmetical systems. One proposed method of giving such proofs is Hilbert's epsilon-substitution method. There was, however, a second approach which was not reflected in the publications of the Hilbert school in the 1920s, and which is a direct precursor of Hilbert's first epsilon theorem and a certain ?general consistency result? due to Bernays. An analysis of the form of this so-called ?failed proof? (...) sheds further light on an interpretation of Hilbert's programme as an instrumentalist enterprise with the aim of showing that whenever a ?real? proposition can be proved by ?ideal? means, it can also be proved by ?real?, finitary means. (shrink)
Quantified propositional intuitionistic logic is obtained from propositional intuitionistic logic by adding quantifiers ∀p, ∃p, where the propositional variables range over upward-closed subsets of the set of worlds in a Kripke structure. If the permitted accessibility relations are arbitrary partial orders, the resulting logic is known to be recursively isomorphic to full second-order logic (Kremer, 1997). It is shown that if the Kripke structures are restricted to trees of at height and width at most ω, the resulting logics are decidable. (...) This provides a partial answer to a question by Kremer. The result also transfers to modal S4 and some Gödel-Dummett logics with quantifiers over propositions. (shrink)
After a brief flirtation with logicism around 1917, David Hilbertproposed his own program in the foundations of mathematics in 1920 and developed it, in concert with collaborators such as Paul Bernays andWilhelm Ackermann, throughout the 1920s. The two technical pillars of the project were the development of axiomatic systems for everstronger and more comprehensive areas of mathematics, and finitisticproofs of consistency of these systems. Early advances in these areaswere made by Hilbert (and Bernays) in a series of lecture courses atthe (...) University of Göttingen between 1917 and 1923, and notably in Ackermann's dissertation of 1924. The main innovation was theinvention of the -calculus, on which Hilbert's axiom systemswere based, and the development of the -substitution methodas a basis for consistency proofs. The paper traces the developmentof the ``simultaneous development of logic and mathematics'' throughthe -notation and provides an analysis of Ackermann'sconsistency proofs for primitive recursive arithmetic and for thefirst comprehensive mathematical system, the latter using thesubstitution method. It is striking that these proofs use transfiniteinduction not dissimilar to that used in Gentzen's later consistencyproof as well as non-primitive recursive definitions, and that thesemethods were accepted as finitistic at the time. (shrink)
Some of the most important developments of symbolic logic took place in the 1920s. Foremost among them are the distinction between syntax and semantics and the formulation of questions of completeness and decidability of logical systems. David Hilbert and his students played a very important part in these developments. Their contributions can be traced to unpublished lecture notes and other manuscripts by Hilbert and Bernays dating to the period 1917-1923. The aim of this paper is to describe these results, focussing (...) primarily on propositional logic, and to put them in their historical context. It is argued that truth-value semantics, syntactic ("Post-") and semantic completeness, decidability, and other results were first obtained by Hilbert and Bernays in 1918, and that Bernays's role in their discovery and the subsequent development of mathematical logic is much greater than has so far been acknowledged. (shrink)
A general class of labeled sequent calculi is investigated, and necessary and sufficient conditions are given for when such a calculus is sound and complete for a finite-valued logic if the labels are interpreted as sets of truth values (sets-as-signs). Furthermore, it is shown that any finite-valued logic can be given an axiomatization by such a labeled calculus using arbitrary "systems of signs," i.e., of sets of truth values, as labels. The number of labels needed is logarithmic in the number (...) of truth values, and it is shown that this bound is tight. (shrink)
The generalization properties of algebraically closed fields $ACF_p$ of characteristic $p > 0$ and $ACF_0$ of characteristic 0 are investigated in the sequent calculus with blocks of quantifiers. It is shown that $ACF_p$ admits finite term bases, and $ACF_0$ admits term bases with primality constraints. From these results the analogs of Kreisel's Conjecture for these theories follow: If for some $k$ , $A(1 + \cdots + 1)$ ( $n$ 1's) is provable in $k$ steps, then $(\forall x)A(x)$ is provable.