Program Systems Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences,
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Pereslavl-Zalessky, 152140, Russia.
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. A formal approach to feasible numbers, as well as to middle and small numbers, is introduced, based on ideas of Parikh (1971) and improving his formalization. The "vague" set F of feasible numbers intuitively satisfies the axioms 0 2 F , F + 1 ` F and 2 1000 62 F , where the latter is stronger than a condition considered by Parikh, and seems to be treated rigorously here for the first time. Our technical considerations, though quite simple, have some unusual consequences. A discussion of methodological questions and of relevance to the foundations of mathematics and of computer science is an essential part of the paper. 1 Introduction How to formalize the intuitive notion of feasible numbers? To see what feasible numbers are, let us start by counting: 0,1,2,3, and so on. At this point, A.S. Yesenin-Volpin (in his "Analysis of potential feasibility", 1959) asks: "What does this `and so on' mean?" "Up to what extent `and so on'?" And he answers: "Up to exhaustion!" Note that by cos...