Conceptions of infinity and set in Lorenzen’s operationist system

In Logic, Epistemology and the Unity of Science. Springer (forthcoming)
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In the late 1940s and early 1950s Lorenzen developed his operative logic and mathematics, a form of constructive mathematics. Nowadays this is mostly seen as the precursor to the more well-known dialogical logic and one could assumed that the same philosophical motivations were present in both works. However we want to show that this is not always the case. In particular, we claim, that Lorenzen’s well-known rejection of the actual infinite as stated in Lorenzen (1957) was not a major motivation for operative logic and mathematics. In this article, we claim that this is in fact not the case. Rather, we argue for a shift that happened in Lorenzen’s treatment of the infinite from the early to the late 1950s. His early motivation for the development of operativism is concerned with a critique of the Cantorian notion of set and related questions about the notion of countability and uncountability; only later, his motivation switches to focusing on the concept of infinity and the debate about actual and potential infinity.

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Carolin Antos
Universität Konstanz


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