# Tagged Questions

Philosophical aspects of logic and set theory; truth status of mathematical axioms; Philosophy of Mathematics; philosophical aspects of mathematics in general; relation of mathematics to philosophy; etc.

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### Was “arithmetical translation” (coding in the Goedel sense) ever a part of Hilbert's Program?

Was "arithmetical translation" (that is, coding in the Goedel sense) ever a part of Hilbert's Program? I ask this question for several reasons: i) it gives the numerals |, ||, |||,.... an ersatz ...
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### What was Hilbert's view of Gödel's Incompleteness Theorems?

According to Solomon Feferman, in his slide presentation "Three Problems for Mathematics", Hilbert wrote (in regards to Gödel's second incompleteness theorem): ...the end goal [is] to establish as ...
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### Examples of abstractions that did *not* turn out to be useful [closed]

I’ve read (but cannot find any reference now) that new abstract mathematical concepts like set theory and – not too long ago – category theory were in their time often considered too abstract to be ...
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### A question regarding an analogue of the Kleene $T$-predicate for Koepke's ordinal computability

Does Koepke's notion of ordinal computability admit an analogue of the Kleene $T$-predicate? If so, is the existence of such a $T$-predicate independent of $ZFC$? Also, if one assumes the existence ...
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### 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 ...
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### A question regarding extendible cardinals and a result of M. Magidor

The following definitions and Theorems come from M. Magidor's paper "On the Role of Supercompact and Extendible Cardinals in Logic" (Israel J. Math., Vol. 10, 1971): "Definition: Logic is called ...
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### A question regarding the relation between Freiling's Axiom of Symmetry and real-valued measurable cardnals

A major argument against Freiling's Axiom of Symmetry is the following (this from the wikipedia article of the same name): "The naive probabalistic notion used by Freiling tacitly assumes that there ...
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### Last Status of Feferman's Conjecture on Indefinite Value of Continuum

The "true" value of $2^{\aleph_0}$ is one of the most fundamental open questions of mathematics and its philosophy. Hundreds of set theoretic results during the last century don't say anything more ...
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### Using the multiverse approach to decide the law of the exluded middle?

Recently, in response to deciding the Continuum Hypothesis $CH$, Hamkins and Gitman have proposed consider a multiverse of set-theoretic universes, some in which $CH$ is true, some in which $\neg CH$ ...
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### Has philosophy ever clarified mathematics?

I've recently been reading some standard textbooks on the philosophy of mathematics, and I've become quite frustrated that (surely due to my own limitations) I don't seem to be gleaning any ...
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### Which self-reference restrictions can be weakened in probabilstic logic?

This work suggests that there is some generalization of Truth in terms of probability, which can be definable within the logic itself. Is where any other thorems on self-reference restrictions, which ...
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### Nelson's program to show inconsistency of ZF

At the end of the paper Division by three by Peter G. Doyle and John H. Conway, the authors say: Not that we believe there really are any such things as infinite sets, or that the Zermelo-Fraenkel ...
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### Why should we believe in the axiom of regularity?

Today I started reading Maddy's Believing the axioms. As I knew beforehand, it includes some discussion of ZFC axioms. However, I really hoped for a more extensive discussion of axiom of ...
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### Math History Question about the exponential function

While tutoring a student recently, I have come across the situation of explain logarithms by first introducing functions of the form $$f(x)= a^x$$ where $a \ge 0,x\in \mathbb{R}$. My student then ...
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### An example of a proof that is explanatory but not beautiful? (or vice versa)

This question has a philosophical bent, but hopefully it will evoke straightforward, mathematical answers that would be appropriate for this list (like my earlier question about beautiful proofs ...
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### What's special about the Simplex category?

I have been wondering lately what makes simplicial sets 'tick'. Edited The category $\Delta$can be viewed as the category of standard $n$-simplices and order preserving simplicial maps. The goal of ...
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### Information theory from negative probability

Szekely provides a convincing argument of negative probability here: http://www.wilmott.com/pdfs/100609_gjs.pdf What does a reformulation of classical information theory built from negative ...
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### Plausibility argument for a measurable cardinal

The following question is not mathematically precise but perhaps of some philosophical interest. A typical plausibility argument for assuming the existence of inaccessible cardinals goes as follows: ...
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### Should there be a true model of set theory?

As I understand it, there is a program in set theory to produce an ultimate, canonical model of set theory which, among other things, positively answers the Continuum Hypothesis and various questions ...
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### Is second-order ZFC categorical with regard to its proper class models

Second-order ZFC offers partial categoricity in the sense that, given any two models, one of them must be isomorphic to an initial segment of the other [1]. However, this leaves questions regarding ...
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### 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 ...
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### Philosophical arguments in defense (or against) large cardinals

The question is essentially what is asked in the title. I split it into two parts (A) (Arguments supporting the existence of large cardinals) What are the main philosophical arguments in defense ...
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### Uninteresting questions with interesting answers [closed]

What are best examples of questions in mathematics that are not interesting until one knows the answers, whose answers themselves are what is interesting? The thing that prompts me to post this is ...
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### Is there any formal foundation to ultrafinitism?

Ultrafinitism is (I believe) a philosophy of mathematics that is not only constructive, but does not admit the existence of arbitrarily large natural numbers. According to wikipedia, it has been ...
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### Is $ACA_0$ + `True Arithmetic exists' interpretable in $ACA$?

Maybe someone here can help me with a question concerning second-order arithmetic. Consider the system $ACA_T := ACA_0 + \exists X \forall x (x \in X \leftrightarrow T(x))$, where $T(x)$ is a ...
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### Is there a compendium of the consistency strength between the most important formal theories?

Preliminar Notions: A formal system is a tuple $(\Sigma,G,A,R)$ where $\Sigma$ is an alphabet (set of symbols), $G$ is a formal grammar on $\Sigma$ that generates a formal language $L$ (set of well ...
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### nonstandard models and mathematical theorems

Is there a first order statement about the natural numbers (not nonstandard analysis) such that the truth of the statement is easier to see in a nonstandard model? In other words, do nonstandard ...
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### Extensional theorems mostly used intensionally

Some theorems are stated and proved extensionally, but in practice are almost always used intensionally. Let me give an example to make this clear -- integration by parts:  \int_a^b f(x)g'(x)ds = ...
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### Examples in mirror symmetry that can be understood.

It seems to me, that a typical science often has simple and important examples whose formulation can be understood (or at least there are some outcomes that can be understood). So if we consider ...
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### Interpretation of Shannon Entropy Application

Consider a collection of increasing positive integers $\{a_i\}_{i=1}^m$ and the distribution $p_i=\frac{a_i}{\sum_{i=1}^ma_i}$. Let entropy of $\mathcal{A}=\{a_i\}_{i=1}^m$ be given by ...
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### Intuitionistic logic as quantization of classical logic?

A classically trained mathematician is more likely to be familiar (at least anecdotally) with an area of mathematical physics such as deformation quantization than with intuitionistic logic. It is ...
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### Essential reads in the philosophy of mathematics and set theory

I am graduate student and have a decent understanding of logic and set theory. Recently I have got interested in the philosophy of mathematics and set theory. I have read a number of papers by ...
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### Is PA consistent? do we know it?

1) (By Goedel's) One can not prove, in PA, a formula that can be interpreted to express the consistency of PA. (Hopefully I said it right. Specialists correct me, please). 2) There are proofs ...
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### Is rigour just a ritual that most mathematicians wish to get rid of if they could?

"No". That was my answer till this afternoon! "Mathematics without proofs isn't really mathematics at all" probably was my longer answer. Yet, I am a mathematics educator who was one of the panelists ...
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### Extensionality in HoTT versus extensionality in internal language of a category

What's the extension of judgmental identity in HoTT (homotopy type theory)? The Martin-Löf intensional dependent type theory with identity types is called (definitionally) extensional if the ...
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### Supervenience in mathematics

I'm not quite sure if this is the right place to ask, and if this is the right way to ask, but I dare. In philosophy (of mind, e.g.) the concept of supervenience is used: "Supervenience [is] used ...
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### The impact of large cardinals in mathematics [closed]

What are the main applications of large cardinals in ordinary mathematics, and what is the philosophy behind using them. In particular: Question 1. What is the philosophy behind accepting large ...
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### Can a mathematical definition be wrong?

This question originates from a bit of history. In the first paper on quantum Turing machines, the authors left a key uniformity condition out of their definition. Three mathematicians subsequently ...
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### ULTRAINFINITISM, or a step beyond the transfinite

Cantor has, in the immortal words of D. Hilbert, given all of us a paradise (or perhaps, I would rather say, a great vacation spot), the TRANSFINITE. $\aleph_0, \aleph_1,\aleph_2\dots$ the lists ...
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### Time in Girard's Geometry of Interaction

Jean-Yves Girard writes at the end of his paper "Towards a Geometry of Interaction", page 105, that we have three intuitions about the nature of time: time is logic modulo the order of rules, time ...
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### Universal quantifier in Russell's Theory of descriptions - Who is the UNIVERSE? [closed]

To moderators: Please don't delete or migrate this thread: It's by no means PURE PHILOSOPHICAL, but mostly a mathematical logic question! In Russell's 1905 paper "on denoting" in which he introduces ...
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### Interesting meta-meta-mathematical theorems?

The Goedel incompleteness theorems can be considered meta-mathematical theorems, as they are "written" in a meta-theory and "talk" about properties of a class of formal theories. The following may be ...
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### Can we define an “empirically generic” real number?

Summary: My question, in a nutshell, is how we should intuitively imagine a generic real number (as opposed to a random one), and whether we can construct numbers which empirically behave like generic ...
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### Meta$^{n{-}th}$ mathematics [duplicate]

Metamathematics has a reasonably clear connotation, enough to have a Wikipedia page, with Gödel, Tarski, and Turing playing leading roles; Kleene's book (Introduction to Metamathematics (Amazon ...
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### Geometric interpretation of table with permutations and inversions

Let $T(n,k)$ is the number of permutations of numbers $1, ..., n$ and each of the permutations has $k$ inversions. We can consider a table for $T(n,k)$ for some $n$ and $k$. For eg. $n=1,...,6$, ...
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### nontrivial theorems with trivial proofs

A while back I saw posted on someone's office door a statement attributed to some famous person, saying that it is an instance of the callousness of youth to think that a theorem is trivial because ...
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### Formal/rigorous treatment of (im)predicativity/predicativism

There are several places on the web where one may find quite intuitively understandable accounts of (im)predicativity; here on MO I found two questions with very good detailed answers (Predicative ...
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### Martin's “Philosophical Issues about the Hierarchy of Sets”

Some months ago (October 2010), in the context of the Workshop on Set Theory and the Philosophy of Mathematics, Professor Donald A. Martin gave a talk entitled "Philosophical issues about the ...
Large cardinal axioms are not provable using usual mathematical tools (developed in $\text{ZFC}$). Their non-existence is consistent with axioms of usual mathematics. It is provable that some of ...