first-order and higher-order logic, model theory, set theory, proof theory, computability theory, formal languages, definability, interplay of syntax and semantics, constructive logic, intuitionism, philosophical logic, modal logic, completeness, Gödel incompleteness, decidability, undecidability, ...

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30
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2answers
5k views

Is the analysis as taught in universities in fact the analysis of definable numbers?

Ten years ago when I studied in the university I had no idea about definable numbers, but I came to this concept myself. My thoughts were as follows: All numbers are divided into two classes: those ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Similarities between Post's Problem and Cohen's Forcing

Remark: I have since learned that G.H. Moore addresses this question in the third reference listed at the end of this post, beginning on p. 157 in which he cites a letter from Kreisel to Gödel dated ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is metatheory, providing proof of the incompleteness theorem, consistent?

Is metatheory, considered as a formal system, that used to prove the First Incompleteness Theorem, consistent?
82
votes
15answers
14k views

Why worry about the axiom of choice?

As I understand it, it has been proven that the axiom of choice is independent of the other axioms of set theory. Yet I still see people fuss about whether or not theorem X depends on it, and I don't ...
43
votes
5answers
4k views

Decidability of chess on an infinite board

The recent question Do there exist chess positions that require exponentially many moves to reach? of Tim Chow reminds me of a problem I have been interested in. Is chess with finitely many men on an ...
28
votes
7answers
5k views

Arguments against large cardinals

I started to learn about large cardinals a while ago, and I read that the existence, and even the consistency of the existence of an inaccessible cardinal, i.e. a limit cardinal which is additionally ...
12
votes
1answer
219 views

What metatheory proves $\mathsf{ACA}_0$ conservative over PA?

Simpson's book shows $\mathsf{ACA}_0$ is conservative over $\mathsf{PA}$ in the natural way by model theory using definable subsets. Of course, $\mathsf{ACA}_0$ being conservative over PA is ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

Computational approach deciding whether a set of Wang Tile could tile the space up to some size

As an applied person, I'm facing one practical problem deciding whether a set of Wang tile could tile the plane periodically or aperiodically. Although both problems seem undecidable, but I'm on a ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Can the Burgess-Hazen analysis of Predicative Arithmetic be extended to Transfinite Types?

Around page 300 of his book "Mathematical Thought and its Objects", Charles Parsons discusses the work of Edward Nelson, who believes that mathematical induction is impredicative, because it can be ...
16
votes
2answers
635 views

If ZFC has a transitive model, does it have one of arbitrary size?

It is known that the consistency strength of $\sf ZFC+\rm Con(\sf ZFC)$ is greater than that of $\sf ZFC$ itself, but still weaker than asserting that $\sf ZFC$ has a transitive model. Let us denote ...
65
votes
9answers
10k views

Solutions to the Continuum Hypothesis

(A related MO question: What is the general opinion on the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis? ) Background The Continuum Hypothesis (CH) posed by Cantor in 1890 asserts that $ \aleph_1=2^{\aleph_0}$. ...
25
votes
15answers
5k views

Abstract Thought vs Calculation

Jeremy Avigad and Erich Reck in their remarkable historical paper "Clarifying the nature of the infinite: the development of metamathematics and proof theory" claim that one of the factors of becoming ...
70
votes
11answers
7k views

Checkmate in $\omega$ moves?

Is there a chess position with a finite number of pieces on the infinite chess board $\mathbb{Z}^2$ such that White to move has a forced win, but Black can stave off mate for at least $n$ moves for ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

Arithmetic fixed point theorem

I want to understand the idea of the proof of the artihmetic fixed point theorem. The theorem is crucial in the proof of Gödel's first Incompletness theorem. First some notation: We work in $NT$, the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Large cardinal axioms and Grothendieck universes

A cardinal $\lambda$ is weakly inaccessible, iff a. it is regular (i.e. a set of cardinality $\lambda$ can't be represented as a union of sets of cardinality $<\lambda$ indexed by a set of ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

How many groups of size at most n are there? What is the asymptotic growth rate? And what of rings, fields, graphs, partial orders, etc.?

Question. How many (isomorphism types of) finite groups of size at most n are there? What is the asymptotic growth rate? And the same question for rings, fields, graphs, partial orders, etc. ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a computable model of ZFC?

Background Assuming ZFC is consistent, then by downward Löwenheim–Skolem, there is a countable model (M,$\in$) of ZFC. Since the universe M is countable, we may as well think of it as actually being ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the non-triviality of the algebraic dual of an infinite-dimensional vector space equivalent to the axiom of choice?

If $V$ is given to be a vector space that is not finite-dimensional, it doesn't seem to be possible to exhibit an explicit non-zero linear functional on $V$ without further information about $V$. The ...
26
votes
0answers
807 views

Concerning the various proofs from the axiom of choice that R^3 admits of surprising geometrical decompositions into circles, skew lines and so on: can we prove in any instance that there are no Borel such decompositions? Or that AC is required?

This question follows up on a comment I made on Joseph O'Rourke's recent question, one of several questions here on mathoverflow concerning surprising geometric partitions of space using the axiom of ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

What would be some major consequences of the inconsistency of ZFC?

I was happily surfing the arXiv, when I was jolted by the following paper: Inconsistency of the Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice and its effects on the computational complexity by ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Clarification of Gödel's second incompleteness theorem

I am sorry for the following question, because the actual answer to this question is in the beautiful works of Feferman and Jeroslow, but, unfortunately, I havn't any time to go into that specific ...
8
votes
2answers
749 views

Is it possible for countably closed forcing to collapse $\aleph_2$ to $\aleph_1$ without collapsing the continuum?

Suppose the continuum is larger than $\aleph_2$. Does there exist a countably closed notion of forcing that collapses $\aleph_2$ to $\aleph_1$, but does not collapse the continuum to $\aleph_1$? ...
7
votes
3answers
513 views

Consistency of Analysis (second order arithmetic)

Is there a proof of the consistency of Analysis (second order arithmetic), which is similar to Gentzen's proof of the consistency of arithmetic? Update: Which (different) methods can be used to ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

What axioms are used to prove Godel's Incompleteness Theorems?

I understand Godel's Incompleteness Theorems to be statements about effectively generated formal systems, which basically makes them theorems about algorithms. This is cool, because despite being ...
16
votes
2answers
987 views

What is a Choice Principle, really?

This question is quite soft, and I apologize in advance if it borderline off-topic. When working in theories between ZF and ZFC the term "choice principle" is heard quite often. For example: $\quad$ ...
12
votes
2answers
898 views

What proofs cannot be relativized

I am afraid this post may show my naivety. At a recent conference, someone told me that there are some arguments in computability theory that don't relativize. Unfortunately, this person (who I ...
11
votes
3answers
901 views

On statements independent of ZFC + V=L

Let $V=L$ denote the axiom of constructibility. Are there any interesting examples of set theoretic statements which are independent of $ZFC + V=L$? And how do we construct such independence proofs? ...
16
votes
2answers
715 views

Prospects for reverse mathematics in Homotopy Type Theory

Reverse mathematics, as I mean here, is the study of which theorems/axioms can be used to prove other theorems/axioms over a weak base theory. Examples include Subsystems of Second Order Arithmetic ...
9
votes
1answer
255 views

Can Tarski decide constructibility in elementary geometry?

Can the decision routine for Tarski's Elementary geometry be extended to decide when an existence claim in that theory can be instantiated by a compass and straightedge construction? The answer does ...
3
votes
1answer
460 views

Feferman's extensional and intensional applications of the method of arithmetization

At the very beginning of Feferman's Arithmetization of metamathematics in a general setting it can be read: The method of arithmetization, as developed by Gödel[10], exploits the possibility of ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

A set that can be covered by arbitrarily small intervals

Let $X$ be a subset of the real line and $S=\{s_i\}$ an infinite sequence of positive numbers. Let me say that $X$ is $S$-small if there is a collection $\{I_i\}$ of intervals such that the length of ...
15
votes
1answer
819 views

Gödel's Constructible Universe in Infinitary Logics (A Possible Approach to HOD Problem)

Gödel's constructible universe ($L$) is defined using definable power set operator in first order logic ($\mathcal{L}_{\omega ,\omega}$). One can produce such a universe in infinitary logics in ...
12
votes
1answer
673 views

finite dimensional real division algebras

A celebrated theorem of Milnor and Kervaire asserts that any finite dimensional division algebra over the real numbers has dimension 1,2,4 or 8. This result is established using methods from algebraic ...
10
votes
3answers
712 views

Reducing ACA₀ proof to First Order PA

According to the Wikipedia ACA0 is a conservative extension of First Order logic + PA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_Mathematics First of all I have a few questions about the proof: a - What ...
5
votes
2answers
242 views

Does the Feferman-Schutte analysis give a precise characterization of Predicative Second-Order Arithmetic?

A definition is called impredicative if it involves quantification over a domain that contains the thing being defined. For instance, if you define hereditary property to be a property which applies ...
10
votes
10answers
3k views

A problem of an infinite number of balls and an urn [closed]

I think that the following problem originated in a probability textbook : You have a countably infinite supply of numbered balls at your disposal. They are all labeled with the natural numbers ...
8
votes
3answers
298 views

Conjecture on NP-completeness of tesselation of Wang Tile up to finite size

Motivated by these following questions on tessellation: coloring in lattice Reference for Wang Tile Computational approach deciding whether a set of Wang Tile could tile the space up to some size ...
1
vote
0answers
191 views

What is the role of the (formalized) omega rule in Ramified Analysis?

In the 1960's, Feferman and Schutte did groundbreaking proof-theoretic work to find out the strength of predicative systems of second-order arithmetic. They used the ramified theory of types, a ...
10
votes
2answers
500 views

What are Moschovakis cardinals?

The question is exactly that of the title: what are Moschovakis cardinals? Background. In a recent answer to the question, "Are there examples of statements that have been proven whose consistency ...
8
votes
2answers
673 views

Sperner's lemma and Tucker's lemma

In their article "A Borsuk-Ulam Equivalent that Directly Implies Sperner's Lemma" (American Mathematical Monthly, April 2013), Nyman and Su write "[W]e are unaware of a direct proof that Tucker's ...
3
votes
5answers
866 views

Defining 'free monoid' without Nat?

Is there a definition of what is a 'free monoid' which does not pre-suppose that the natural numbers has already been defined? The definitions that I have been able to track down all use the natural ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

relatively free groups in $Var(S_3)$

Suppose $S_3$ is the symmetric group of order 6. Which elements of the variety $Var(S_3)$ are relatively free? This question is related to my previous question Relatively free algebras in a variety ...
111
votes
26answers
12k views

What are some reasonable-sounding statements that are independent of ZFC?

Every now and then, somebody will tell me about a question. When I start thinking about it, they say, "actually, it's undecidable in ZFC." For example, suppose A is an abelian group such that every ...
66
votes
41answers
15k views

What are the most attractive Turing undecidable problems in mathematics?

What are the most attractive Turing undecidable problems in mathematics? There are thousands of examples, so please post here only the most attractive, best examples. Some examples already appear on ...
68
votes
16answers
15k views

What if Current Foundations of Mathematics are Inconsistent? [closed]

The title of the question is also the title of a talk by Vladimir Voevodsky, available here. Had this kind of opinion been expressed before? EDIT. Thanks to all answerers, commentators, voters, ...
52
votes
3answers
5k views

Does every non-empty set admit a group structure (in ZF)?

It is easy to see that in ZFC, any non-empty set $S$ admits a group structure: for finite $S$ identify $S$ with a cyclic group, and for infinite $S$, the set of finite subsets of $S$ with the binary ...
46
votes
12answers
8k views

Logic in mathematics and philosophy

What are the relations between logic as an area of (modern) philosophy and mathematical logic. The world "modern" refers to 20th century and later, and I am curious mainly about the second half of ...
42
votes
2answers
3k views

How would you solve this tantalizing Halmos problem?

1-ab invertible => 1-ba invertible has a slick power series "proof" as below, where Halmos asks for an explanation of why this tantalizing derivation succeeds. Do you know one? Geometric series. In ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

How to make Ext and Tor constructive?

EDIT: This post was substantially modified with the help of the comments and answers. Thank you! Judging by their definitions, the $\mathrm{Ext}$ and $\mathrm{Tor}$ functors are among the most ...
39
votes
9answers
4k views

How do they verify a verifier of formalized proofs?

In an unrelated thread Sam Nead intrigued me by mentioning a formalized proof of the Jordan curve theorem. I then found that there are at least two, made on two different systems. This is quite an ...