FOM: Working Foundations

Torkel Franzen torkel at
Thu Nov 13 03:37:38 EST 1997

  Solomon Feferman says:

  >Since some have asked for pointers to the literature in one respect or
  >another, let me point you to my anonymous ftp site

  Just a comment about the format of these papers: they're incorrectly
named *.ps.gz, but are in fact postscript files (not gzipped), and
so should be named *.ps, for a browser to handle them properly (and
to prevent needless confusion if people try to gunzip them).

  >1. Conceptual clarification.
  >2. Dealing with problematic concepts by interpretations or models.
  >3. Dealing with problematic concepts by replacement, substitution or
  >4. Dealing with problematic methods and results.
  >5. Organizational foundations and axiomatization.
  >6. Reflective expansion.  

  All these activities can reasonably be called foundational, to be
sure.  Let me venture a modest suggestion. Since contributors to the
list are most unlikely to conform to the definition or explanation of
"foundations" originally given by Steve, why not just let the topics,
questions, and problems introduced speak for themselves, as long as
they're plainly "foundational" in some reasonable sense of the term,
e.g. in the sense of falling under 1-6 above? This simply as a means
of eliminating bickering over what is or is not "foundational", which
is supremely pointless.

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