Hilbert’s Finitism: Historical, Philosophical, and Metamathematical Perspectives


Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, Spring 2001


In the 1920s, David Hilbert proposed a research program with the aim of providing mathematics with a secure foundation. This was to be accomplished by first formalizing logic and mathematics in their entirety, and then showing—using only so-called finitistic principles—that these formalizations are free of contradictions.