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Thoralf Skolem

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Thoralf Albert Skolem was a Norwegian mathematician who worked in mathematical logic and set theory.

Thoralf Skolem

Metamathematics

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Metamathematics is the study of mathematics itself using mathematical methods. This study produces metatheories, which are mathematical theories about other mathematical theories. Emphasis on metamathematics owes itself to David Hilbert's attempt to secure the foundations of mathematics in the early part of the 20th century. Metamathematics provides "a rigorous mathematical technique for investigating a great variety of foundation problems for mathematics and logic". An important feature of metamathematics is its emphasis on differentiating between reasoning from inside a system and from outside a system. An informal illustration of this is categorizing the proposition "2+2=4" as belonging to mathematics while categorizing the proposition "'2+2=4' is valid" as belonging to metamathematics.

The title page of the Principia Mathematica (shortened version), an important work of metamathematics.