Gödel mathematics versus Hilbert mathematics. I The Gödel incompleteness (1931) statement: axiom or theorem?
- Vasil Penchev
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology: Dept. of Philosophy of Science, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
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AbstractThe present first part about the eventual completeness of mathematics (called "Hilbert mathematics") is concentrated on the Gödel incompleteness (1931) statement: if it is an axiom rather than a theorem inferable from the axioms of (Peano) arithmetic, (ZFC) set theory, and propositional logic, this would pioneer the pathway to Hilbert mathematics. One of the main arguments that it is an axiom consists in the direct contradiction of the axiom of induction in arithmetic and the axiom of infinity in set theory. Thus, the pair of arithmetic and set are to be similar to Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries distinguishably only by the Fifth postulate now, i.e. after replacing it and its negation correspondingly by the axiom of finiteness (induction) versus that of finiteness being idempotent negations to each other. Indeed, the axiom of choice, as far as it is equivalent to the well-ordering "theorem", transforms any set in a well-ordering either necessarily finite according to the axiom of induction or also optionally infinite according to the axiom of infinity. So, the Gödel incompleteness statement relies on the logical contradiction of the axiom of induction and the axiom of infinity in the final analysis. Nonetheless, both can be considered as two idempotent versions of the same axiom (analogically to the Fifth postulate) and then unified after logicism and its inherent intensionality since the opposition of finiteness and infinity can be only extensional (i.e., relevant to the elements of any set rather than to the set by itself or its characteristic property being a proposition). So, the pathway for interpreting the Gödel incompleteness statement as an axiom and the originating from that assumption for "Hilbert mathematics" accepting its negation is pioneered. A much wider context relevant to realizing the Gödel incompleteness statement as a metamathematical axiom is consistently built step by step. The horizon of Hilbert mathematics is the proper subject in the third part of the paper, and a reinterpretation of Gödel's papers (1930; 1931) as an apology of logicism as the only consistent foundations of mathematics is the topic of the next second part.