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Abstract

Gödel's dialectica interpretation of Heyting arithmetic HA may be seen as expressing a lack of confidence in our understanding of unbounded quantification. Instead of formally proving an implication with an existential consequent or with a universal antecedent, the dialectica interpretation asks, under suitable conditions, for explicit ‘interpreting’ instances that make the implication valid. For proofs in constructive set theory CZF-, it may not always be possible to find just one such instance, but it must suffice to explicitly name a set consisting of such interpreting instances. The aim of eliminating unbounded quantification in favor of appropriate constructive functionals will still be obtained, as our ∧-interpretation theorem for constructive set theory in all finite types CZFω- shows. By changing to a hybrid interpretation ∧q, we show closure of CZFω- under rules that – in stronger forms – have already been studied in the context of Heyting arithmetic. In a similar spirit, we briefly survey modified realizability of CZFω- and its hybrids. Central results of this paper have been proved by Burr 2000a and Schulte 2006, however, for different translations. We use a simplified interpretation that goes back to Diller and Nahm 1974. A novel element is a lemma on absorption of bounds which is essential for the smooth operation of our translation.