What does Dedekind’s proof of the categoricity of arithmetic with second-order induction show?

7 November 2013
Dan Isaacson
In {\it Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?} (1888), Dedekind proves the Recursion Theorem (Theorem 126), and applies it to establish the categoricity of his axioms for arithmetic (Theorem 132). It is essential to these results that mathematical induction is formulated using second-order quantification, and if the second-order quantifier ranges over all subsets of the first-order domain (full second-order quantification), the categoricity result shows that, to within isomorphism, only one structure satisfies these axioms. However, the proof of categoricity is correct for a wide class of non-full Henkin models of second-order quantification. In light of this fact, can the proof of second-order categoricity be taken to establish that the second-order axioms of arithmetic characterize a unique structure?