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Hilbert program of formalism as a working philosophical direction for consideration of the bases of mathematics

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2015. Vol. 4. No. 6. Pp. 534-545.
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Mikhailova N. V.
Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics
6 P. Browka St., 220013 Minsk, Belarus


In the article, philosophical and methodological analysis of the program of Hilbert's formalism as a really working direction for consideration of the bases of modern mathematics is presented. For the professional mathematicians methodological advantages of the program of formalism advanced by David Hilbert, consist primarily in the fact that the highest possible level of theoretical rigor of modern mathematical theories was practically represented there. To resolve the fundamental difficulties of the problem of bases of mathematics, according to Hilbert, the theory of mathematical proof is needed, but contrary to popular belief rigorous formalization of the proof is not a synonym of reliability and rigor of mathematical reasoning from the point of view of the philosophy of the foundations of mathematics. In fact, the consistency of the theories is "more important" than their logical consistency because not every statement, which does not contradict to the reasonable ones, can be attributed to a true statement. However, for working mathematicians, Hilbert is logical and consistent and the axiomatic method and formalism are an essential part of their rules of thinking.


  • • philosophy of mathematics
  • • the problem of bases of modern mathematics
  • • program of formalism


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