Postulational methods. I

Philosophy of Science 2 (2):139-163 (1935)
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The keynote of our investigation is suggested by a remark made by Enriques, “the young student of mathematics would indeed look in vain to the classical logic into which he was initiated for an adequate conception of the structure of a deductive science like Geometry let alone for an explanation of the value and meaning of the principles of such a discipline. What are axioms, postulates, definitions? What place do they occupy in the edifice of the theory? What criteria determine their choice and how can we establish whether they are acceptable or not?” These are in general the questions we shall seek to answer in part and then we shall make a special analysis of two of the criteria determining the choice of the axioms.



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