The foundations of mathematics from a historical viewpoint

Epistemologia 38 (1):133-151 (2015)
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A new hypothesis on the basic features characterising the Foundations of Mathematics is suggested. By means of them the entire historical development of Mathematics before the 20th Century is summarised through a table. Also the several programs, launched around the year 1900, on the Foundations of Mathematics are characterised by a corresponding table. The major difficulty that these programs met was to recognize an alternative to the basic feature of the deductive organization of a theory - more precisely, to Hilbert’s main tenet. Ironically, already half a century before the births of these programs the alternative organization has been substantially represented by Lobachevsky's theory on parallel lines. Moreover, although each program’s founder recognised the basic features in a partial way only, all together these programs represented just the four possible foundational approaches.

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