Institut für Theoretische Physik, University of Technology Vienna
ysik, University of Technology Vienna, Wiedner Hauptstraße 8-10/136, A-1040 Vienna, Austria.
Inasmuch as physical theories are formalizable, set theory provides a framework for theoretical physics. Four speculations about the relevance of set theoretical modeling for physics are presented: the role of transcendental set theory (i) hr chaos theory, (ii) for paradoxical decompositions of solid three-dimensional objects, (iii) in the theory of effective computability (Church-Turhrg thesis) related to the possible "solution of supertasks," and (iv) for weak solutions. Several approaches to set theory and their advantages and disadvatages for" physical applications are discussed: Cantorian "naive" (i.e., nonaxiomatic) set theory, contructivism, and operationalism, hr the arrthor's ophrion, an attitude of "suspended attention" (a term borrowed from psychoanalysis) seems most promising for progress. Physical and set theoretical entities must be operationalized wherever possible. At the same thne, physicists shouM be open to "bizarre" or "mindboggling" new formalisms, which treed not be operationalizable or testable at the thne of their " creation, but which may successfully lead to novel fields of phenomenology and technology.