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Gödels reformulation of Gentzen’s first consistency proof for arithmetic: the nocounterexample interpretation
 The. Bulletin of Symbolic Logic
, 2005
"... Abstract. The last section of “Lecture at Zilsel’s ” [9, §4] contains an interesting but quite condensed discussion of Gentzen’s first version of his consistency proof for P A [8], reformulating it as what has come to be called the nocounterexample interpretation. I will describe Gentzen’s result ( ..."
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Abstract. The last section of “Lecture at Zilsel’s ” [9, §4] contains an interesting but quite condensed discussion of Gentzen’s first version of his consistency proof for P A [8], reformulating it as what has come to be called the nocounterexample interpretation. I will describe Gentzen’s result (in gametheoretic terms), fill in the details (with some corrections) of Gödel’s reformulation, and discuss the relation between the two proofs. 1. Let me begin with a description of Gentzen’s consistency proof. As had already been noted in [5], we may express it in terms of a game. 1 To simplify things, we can assume that the logical constants of the classical system of number theory, P A, are ∧, ∨, ∀ and ∃ and that negations are applied only to atomic formulas. ¬φ in general is represented by the complement φ of φ, obtained by interchanging ∧ with ∨, ∀ with ∃, and atomic sentences with their negations. The components of the sentences φ ∨ ψ and φ ∧ ψ are φ and ψ. The components of the sentences ∃xφ(x) and ∀xφ(x) are the sentences φ(¯n) for each numeral ¯n. A ∧ or ∀sentence, called a �sentence, is thus expressed by the conjunction of its components and a ∨ or ∃sentence, called a �sentence, is expressed by the disjunction of them; and so it follows that every sentence can be represented as an infinitary propositional formula built up from prime sentences— atomic or negated atomic sentences. Disjunctive and conjunctive sentences with the components φn (where the range of n is 1, 2 or ω) will be denoted respectively by
Gödel on Intuition and on Hilbert’s finitism
"... There are some puzzles about Gödel’s published and unpublished remarks concerning finitism that have led some commentators to believe that his conception of it was unstable, that he oscillated back and forth between different accounts of it. I want to discuss these puzzles and argue that, on the con ..."
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There are some puzzles about Gödel’s published and unpublished remarks concerning finitism that have led some commentators to believe that his conception of it was unstable, that he oscillated back and forth between different accounts of it. I want to discuss these puzzles and argue that, on the contrary, Gödel’s writings represent a smooth evolution, with just one rather small doublereversal, of his view of finitism. He used the term “finit ” (in German) or “finitary ” or “finitistic ” primarily to refer to Hilbert’s conception of finitary mathematics. On two occasions (only, as far as I know), the lecture notes for his lecture at Zilsel’s [Gödel, 1938a] and the lecture notes for a lecture at Yale [Gödel, *1941], he used it in a way that he knew—in the second case, explicitly—went beyond what Hilbert meant. Early in his career, he believed that finitism (in Hilbert’s sense) is openended, in the sense that no correct formal system can be known to formalize all finitist proofs and, in particular, all possible finitist proofs of consistency of firstorder number theory, P A; but starting in the Dialectica paper