@MISC{Troelstra_historyof, author = {A.S. Troelstra}, title = {History of Constructivism in the 20th Century}, year = {} }

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Abstract

notions, such as `constructive proof', `arbitrary number-theoretic function ' are rejected. Statements involving quantifiers are finitistically interpreted in terms of quantifier-free statements. Thus an existential statement 9xAx is regarded as a partial communication, to be supplemented by providing an x which satisfies A. Establishing :8xAx finitistically means: providing a particular x such that Ax is false. In this century, T. Skolem 4 was the first to contribute substantially to finitist 4 Thoralf Skolem 1887--1963 History of constructivism in the 20th century 3 mathematics; he showed that a fair part of arithmetic could be developed in a calculus without bound variables, and with induction over quantifier-free expressions only. Introduction of functions by primitive recursion is freely allowed (Skolem 1923). Skolem does not present his results in a formal context, nor does he try to delimit precisely the extent of finitist reasoning. Since the idea of finitist reasoning ...