On the strength of some semi-constructive theories

Abstract

Most axiomatizations of set theory that have been treated metamathematically have been based either entirely on classical logic or entirely on intuitionistic logic. But a natural conception of the settheoretic universe is as an indefinite (or “potential”) totality, to which intuitionistic logic is more appropriately applied, while each set is taken to be a definite (or “completed”) totality, for which classical logic is appropriate; so on that view, set theory should be axiomatized on some correspondingly mixed basis. Similarly, in the case of predicative analysis, the natural numbers are considered to form a definite totality, while the universe of sets (or functions) of natural numbers are viewed as an indefinite totality, so that, again, a mixed semi-constructive logic should be the appropriate one to treat the two together. Various such semiconstructive systems of analysis and set theory are formulated here and their proof-theoretic strength is characterized. Interestingly, though the logic is weakened, one can in compensation strengthen certain principles in a way that could be advantageous for mathematical applications.

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