A long time ago, I read something about three stages in the development of a scientific or mathematical theory, namely the naive, the formal, and the critical phase. This appeared very natural to me, e.g. with respect to mathematical theories like set theory or category theory where people explicitly use the word "naive".

Later I tried to find out two who this goes back, and for a while I thought it must be an idea from Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions", but he is not explicitly using these words I think?

Is there a well known work that makes this naive/formal/critical distinction explicit?



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