Concept

Finitism

Summary
Finitism is a philosophy of mathematics that accepts the existence only of finite mathematical objects. It is best understood in comparison to the mainstream philosophy of mathematics where infinite mathematical objects (e.g., infinite sets) are accepted as legitimate. Main idea The main idea of finitistic mathematics is not accepting the existence of infinite objects such as infinite sets. While all natural numbers are accepted as existing, the set of all natural numbers is not considered to exist as a mathematical object. Therefore quantification over infinite domains is not considered meaningful. The mathematical theory often associated with finitism is Thoralf Skolem's primitive recursive arithmetic. History The introduction of infinite mathematical objects occurred a few centuries ago when the use of infinite objects was already a controversial topic among mathematicians. The issue entered a new phase when Georg Cantor in 1874 introduced what is now called
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