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Matheology § 208
Posted:
Feb 3, 2013 3:23 AM


Matheology § 208
In Consistency in Mathematics (1929), Weyl characterized the mathematical method as
the a priori construction of the possible in opposition to the a posteriori description of what is actually given. {{Above all, mathematics has to be consistent. And there is only one criterion for consistency: The "model" of reality.}}
The problem of identifying the limits on constructing ?the possible? in this sense occupied Weyl a great deal. He was particularly concerned with the concept of the mathematical infinite, which he believed to elude ?construction? in the naive settheoretical sense. Again to quote a passage from Das Kontinuum:
No one can describe an infinite set other than by indicating properties characteristic of the elements of the set?. The notion that a set is a ?gathering? brought together by infinitely many individual arbitrary acts of selection, assembled and then surveyed as a whole by consciousness, is nonsensical; ?inexhaustibility? is essential to the infinite.
Small wonder, then, that Hilbert was upset when Weyl joined the Brouwerian camp.
[John L. Bell: "Hermann Weyl", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009)] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/weyl/index.html
Regards, WM
For older §§ see http://www.hsaugsburg.de/~mueckenh/KB/Matheology.pdf



