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Independence and Justification in Mathematics

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In the article the problem of independence in mathematics is discussed. The status of the continuum hypothesis, large cardinal axioms and the axiom of constructablility is presented in some detail. The problem whether incompleteness is really relevant for ordinary mathematics and for empirical science is investigated. Another aim of the article is to give some arguments for the thesis that the problem of reliability and justification of new axioms is well-posed and worthy of attention. In my opinion, investigations concerning the status of independent sentences give insight into our understanding of mathematical concepts, of mathematical knowledge and of the role of mathematics in empirical science.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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