[FOM] Formalization Thesis - questions

catarina dutilh cdutilhnovaes at yahoo.com
Thu Jan 3 06:37:53 EST 2008

In the context of the ongoing debate concerning the Formalization Thesis, I would like to raise some questions. Feedbacks would be greatly appreciated.
1. At some point somebody remarked (I forgot who it was) that formalizations may come in degrees, i.e. that something (a proof, an argument, a theory) can be more formal(ized) that something else, and yet, less formal(ized) than a third thing. Does this sound right?
2. It was also noticed that formalizations may be done with respect to a certain purpose, in which case a formalization would not be the binary relation between what is to be formalized and the result of the formalization (or the ternary relation also involving the process of formalizing), but actually a ternary (or quaternary) relation between these two (three) elements plus the specific purpose, task for which it is accomplished. From this perspective, what counts as a legitimate formalization T' of T for a certain purpose P may not be a legitimate formalization of T for purpose P'. How do FOM'ers feel about that?
Thanks in advance to those willing to share their thoughts on these issues.

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