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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 (...) 





In the 1920s, David Hilbert proposed a research program with the aim of providing mathematics with a secure foundation. This was to be accomplished by first formalizing logic and mathematics in their entirety, and then showingusing only socalled finitistic principlesthat these formalizations are free of contradictions. ;In the area of logic, the Hilbert school accomplished major advances both in introducing new systems of logic, and in developing central metalogical notions, such as completeness and decidability. The analysis of unpublished material presented (...) 

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 (...) 

If it could be shown that one of Gentzen's consistency proofs for pure number theory could be shown to be finitistically acceptable, an important part of Hilbert's program would be vindicated. This paper focuses on whether the transfinite induction on ordinal notations needed for Gentzen's second proof can be finitistically justified. In particular, the focus is on Takeuti's purportedly finitistically acceptable proof of the wellordering of ordinal notations in Cantor normal form. The paper begins with a historically informed discussion of (...) 