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The Practice of Finitism: Epsilon Calculus and Consistency Proofs in Hilbert's Program
, 2001
"... . After a brief flirtation with logicism in 19171920, David Hilbert proposed his own program in the foundations of mathematics in 1920 and developed it, in concert with collaborators such as Paul Bernays and Wilhelm Ackermann, throughout the 1920s. The two technical pillars of the project were the ..."
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. After a brief flirtation with logicism in 19171920, David Hilbert proposed his own program in the foundations of mathematics in 1920 and developed it, in concert with collaborators such as Paul Bernays and Wilhelm Ackermann, throughout the 1920s. The two technical pillars of the project were the development of axiomatic systems for ever stronger and more comprehensive areas of mathematics and finitistic proofs of consistency of these systems. Early advances in these areas were made by Hilbert (and Bernays) in a series of lecture courses at the University of Gttingen between 1917 and 1923, and notably in Ackermann 's dissertation of 1924. The main innovation was the invention of the ecalculus, on which Hilbert's axiom systems were based, and the development of the esubstitution method as a basis for consistency proofs. The paper traces the development of the "simultaneous development of logic and mathematics" through the enotation and provides an analysis of Ackermann's consisten...
Emergence: an algorithmic formulation
, 2005
"... When the microequations of a dynamical system generate complex macrobehaviour, there can be an explanatory gap between the smallscale and largescale descriptions of the same system. The microdynamics may be simple, but its relationship to the macrobehaviour may seem impenetrable. This phenomenon, ..."
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When the microequations of a dynamical system generate complex macrobehaviour, there can be an explanatory gap between the smallscale and largescale descriptions of the same system. The microdynamics may be simple, but its relationship to the macrobehaviour may seem impenetrable. This phenomenon, known as emergence, poses problems for the nature of scientific understanding. How do we reconcile two radically different modes of description? Emergence is formulated using the powerful tools of algorithmic information and computational theory. This provides the ground for an extension and generalisation of the phenomenon. Mathematics itself is analysed as an emergent system, linking formalist notions of mathematics as a string manipulation game with the more abstract ideas and proofs that occupy mathematicians. A philosophical problem that has plagued emergence is whether the whole can be more than the sum of its parts. This possibility, known as strong emergence, manifests when emergent macrostructures introduce brand new causal dynamics into a system. A new perspective on this