@MISC{Sieg99hilbert'sprograms:, author = {Wilfried Sieg}, title = {Hilbert's Programs: 1917-1922}, year = {1999} }

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Abstract

. Hilbert's finitist programwas not created at the beginning of the twenties solely to counteract Brouwer's intuitionism, but rather emerged out of broad philosophical reflections on the foundations of mathematics and out of detailed logical work; that is evident from notes of lecture courses that were given by Hilbert and prepared in collaboration with Bernays during the period from 1917 to 1922. These notes reveal a dialectic progression from a critical logicism through a radical constructivism toward finitism; the progression has to be seen against the background of the stunning presentation of mathematical logic in the lectures given during the winter term 1917/18. In this paper, I sketch the connection of Hilbert's considerations to issues in the foundations of mathematics during the second half of the 19th century, describe the work that laid the basis of modern mathematical logic, and analyze the first steps in the new subject of proof theory. A revision of the standar...