The math-philosophy tag has no wiki summary.

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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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### 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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### Meta$^{n{-}th}$ mathematics [duplicate]

Metamathematics has a reasonably clear connotation,
enough to have a Wikipedia page,
with GĂ¶del, 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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337 views

### 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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### 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 ...

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### What “forces” us to accept large cardinal axioms?

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 ...

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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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### 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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### Assessing effectiveness of (epsilon, delta) definitions [closed]

There is much discussion both in the education community and the mathematics community concerning the challenge of (epsilon, delta) type definitions in calculus and the student reception of them. The ...

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### What are trivial objects, in general?

Trivial objects show up in most every branch of mathematics, and we all know lots of examples: the trivial group, ring, vector space, module over a ring, graph, knot, homomorphism from one object to ...

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### Is there a source linking Robinson's work in wing theory with his theory of infinitesimals?

Abraham Robinson worked in applied mathematics for several decades. MathSciNet lists 12 articles by Robinson in wing theory. His production included the book
Robinson, A.; Laurmann, J. A. Wing ...

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### Euler's mathematics in terms of modern theories?

Some aspects of Euler's work were formalized in terms of modern infinitesimal theories by Laugwitz, McKinzie, Tuckey, and others. Referring to the latter, G. Ferraro claims that "one can see in ...

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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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### intensional equality in type theory

I want to know why we add an intensional equality in type theory to definitional equality ?
What is the aim with this intensional equality ?
thanks

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### Is there an universal (dis)similarity measure between two structures?

I'm always wondering is there an universal (dis)similarity measure
between two structures (let's say between two undirected simple
graphs)? I mean, not "the measure with universal parameter that we
...

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**1**answer

326 views

### Fundamental Problems in Mathematics that, without Computer Sciences, would not be resolved? [closed]

Could you please give examples of fundamental questions in mathematics (let us say, pure mathematics) which were resolved fundamentally by the use of computers? More precisely, are there examples that ...

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### Lawvere's “Some thoughts on the future of category theory.”

In Lecture Notes in Mathematics 1488, Lawvere writes the introduction to the Proceedings for a 1990 conference in Como.
In this article, Lawvere, the inventor of Toposes and Algebraic Theories, ...

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803 views

### Proof by `universal receiver'

Anyone following the news knows about the major breakthoughs that have taken place recently in $3$-manifold topology. These have come via a route whose big-picture I find to be conceptually ...

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### Are descriptive and ontological notions of equality equal? [closed]

â€ŽLet â€Ž$â€Žâ€Ža$ â€Žand â€Žâ€Ž$â€Žâ€Žb$ â€Žare â€Žtwo "â€Žobjects". â€ŽWhat â€Žis â€Žthe â€Žmeaning â€Žofâ€Ž â€Žâ€Ž$a=bâ€Žâ€Ž$â€Ž? This is one of the deepest problems of philosophy and logic because one needs a complete information about ...

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### Sets = structured sets without structure

Motivation
There is presumably no single and widely accepted formal definition of structured sets = sets plus structure based on sets as primitive objects, but several approaches are around. See e.g. ...

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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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### Has anyone pursued Frege's idea of numbers as second-order concepts?

Gottlob Frege was a pivotal figure in the history of mathematical logic. He gave an analysis of numbers that proceeded along roughly the following lines, in his books "The Foundations of Arithmetic" ...

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### Use of Conjectures to Prove a Theorem

Name a theorem T that has a proof based upon the truth of a conjecture C, and also has another proof based upon the falsehood of the same conjecture C, but for longtime has no known direct proof that ...

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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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### 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 ...

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### Are simplicial sets the intended model of HoTT?

While thinking about Jason Rute's question, I wondered if there was an intended model for HoTT. The main candidate for the intended model are simplicial sets, where Vladimir Voevodsky first observed ...

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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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### 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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### What is the impact on Godels theorem of Paraconsistency?

Russells paradox forced a restriction of the natural abstraction principle (that every predicate determines a set) so that Set Theory could be consistent. The standard one being ZF.
However ...

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### How closed-form conjectures are made?

Recently I posted a conjecture at Math.SE:
$$\int_0^\infty\ln\frac{J_\mu(x)^2+Y_\mu(x)^2}{J_\nu(x)^2+Y_\nu(x)^2}\mathrm dx\stackrel{?}{=}\frac{\pi}{2}(\mu^2-\nu^2),$$
where $J_\mu(x)$ and $Y_\mu(x)$ ...

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### A Question Regarding Productive Sets in the Koepke-Koerwien System SO (Sets of Ordinals)

In their paper "The Theory of Sets of Ordinals" (arXiv), Koepke and Koerwien propose a theory SO axiomatizing the class of sets of ordinals in a model of ZFC and show that SO and ZFC are ...

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### Ontological status of some “sets” in ZFC [closed]

Let $\phi$ be an undecidable statement of ZFC set theory, for example let's take continuum hypothesis.
What is the ontological status of the "set" $X=\bigl\{x\in\{1,2\}:x=1\text{ or }(x=2\text{ and ...

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### In What Sense is Set Theory a 'Foundation' for Mathematics? [closed]

In what sense is set theory a foundation for mathematics? To my mind (for what that is worth), there are at least three (somewhat) distinct senses in which set 'theory' (I put "theory" in scare ...

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### Consistency strength needed for applied mathematics

Given that we can never proof the consistency of a theory for the foundations of mathematics in a weaker system, one could seriously doubt whether any of the commonly used foundational frameworks (ZFC ...

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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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### 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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### 2D Problems Which are Easier to Solve in 3D

It sometimes happens that 1D problems are easier to solve by somehow adding a dimension. For example, we convert linear differential equations for a real unknown to a complex unknown (to use complex ...

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### In what ways did Leibniz's philosophy foresee modern mathematics?

Leibniz was a noted polymath who was deeply interested in philosophy as well as mathematics, among other things. From my mathematical readings I have the impression that Leibniz's stature as a ...

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### Age of Stochasticity?

One user on MSE made an interesting question, which was unanswered so I suggested him to post it here but he refused for personal reasons and said I could ask it here.
The question is this:
Today ...

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### Is there an observer dependent mathematics? [closed]

Is there any field of mathematics that deals with the role of the observer? E.g., some formulation in which a set is changed, in some unspecified way, when it is observed? Or maybe some philosophy of ...

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### Why hasn't mereology suceeded as an alternative to set theory?

I have recently run into this wikipedia article on mereology. I was surprised I had never heard of it before and indeed it seems to be seldom mentioned in the mathematical literature. Unlike set ...

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### Non-constructive proofs vs. efficient algorithms

My question concerns what is meant by "nonconstructive", and whether it has ever been defined in terms of computational complexity.
The wikipedia article on constructive proof begins, "a constructive ...

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### A Question Regarding Boolean-valued Models

What were the intuitions motivating the creation (or discovery, if you will) of Boolean-valued models? I have searched for the Scott-Solovay paper on the subject, but to no avail. There also seems to ...

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**1**answer

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### How are mathematical objects defined from an ultrafinitist perspective?

I remember attending a lecture given by an ultrafinitist who denied that curves are a set of points, he would only say that any particular point may or not be on the curve. Similarly for algebraic or ...

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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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### Is it possible to construct a finite mathematical universe? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate:
Is there any formal foundation to ultrafinitism?
Very recently I have come across the skeptic opinions of a school of mathematicians(ultrafinitist) over a physically ...

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### Does there exist a non-trivial Ultrafinitist set theory?

Does there exist a set theory T-which has not yet been proved to be inconsistent-and in which
one can prove the existence of (1) the empty set (2) sets that are singletons and (3) sets which
have ...