Reinhard Kahle and Michael Rathjen (eds.): Gentzen’s Centenary. The Quest for Consistency
As a response to the crisis in the foundations of mathematics at the beginning of the twentieth century David Hilbert formulated a research program, later called “Hilbert’s program”, to provide a secure foundation for mathematics. To this end Hilbert had summoned Paul Bernays as an extraordinary professor to Göttingen and gave him the task to oversee the development of logic and foundations of mathematics. A central element of that program was supposed to be a finitary proof of the consistency of mathematics; that such a proof is infeasible has been shown in 1931 by Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem. It was among the group of mathematicians working on foundations in Göttingen that Gerhard Gentzen (1909–1945) found his vocation to further the development of metamathematics and logic. Bernays was the supervisor of his doctoral dissertation which he finished in May 1933, 1 month after Bernays was forced to flee to Switzerland due to his Jewish descent.1
Gerhard Gentzen made...
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