The commonly ignored aspects of the history of symmetries. Their link with intuitionist logic


The obscure and punctuated history of symmetry is compared with the history of the celebrated and exalting notion of infinitesimal; some considerations about them are derived. A long list of odd and hidden events concerning symmetry in theoretical physics is offered. The last event is the discovery of the nature of the same word “symmetry” which pertains to non-classical logic, and it is linked to the principle of sufficient reason. A comparison of the roles played by the two mathematical techniques within a classical physical theory is performed. It leads to recognize the different roles played by the two mathematical tools as a manifestation of an incommensurability phenomenon caused by two foundational dichotomies.

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