**7**

votes

**1**answer

533 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 ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

971 views

### 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 $\neg CH$ ...

**68**

votes

**21**answers

11k views

### 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 ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

66 views

### 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 ...

**56**

votes

**4**answers

7k views

### 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 ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**10**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**18**

votes

**13**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

233 views

### 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 ...

**19**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

207 views

### 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 ...

**1**

vote

**0**answers

144 views

### 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

262 views

### 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: ...

**-6**

votes

**1**answer

252 views

### Quintic Equation [closed]

Can we solve the following polynomial quintic equation by radicals
x^5 + x^4 = 1
I found one real root which is algebraic solution (no approximation method ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

311 views

### 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 ...

**55**

votes

**13**answers

11k 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 ...

**17**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**29**

votes

**8**answers

5k views

### 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 ...

**53**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### 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 ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

239 views

### 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 ...

**10**

votes

**2**answers

547 views

### 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 ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

921 views

### 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 ...

**18**

votes

**7**answers

1k views

### 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 = ...

**38**

votes

**9**answers

4k views

### 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 ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

179 views

### 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 ...

**10**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**24**

votes

**14**answers

4k views

### 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 ...

**9**

votes

**10**answers

4k views

### 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 ...

**44**

votes

**17**answers

9k views

### 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 ...

**6**

votes

**3**answers

413 views

### 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 ...

**22**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**8**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**64**

votes

**18**answers

8k views

### 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 ...

**7**

votes

**8**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

686 views

### 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 ...

**-4**

votes

**1**answer

244 views

### 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 ...

**10**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

551 views

### 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 ...

**5**

votes

**2**answers

981 views

### 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 ...

**0**

votes

**0**answers

101 views

### 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.
$n=1,...,6$, ...

**46**

votes

**34**answers

10k views

### 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 ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

521 views

### 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 ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### 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 ...

**14**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**2**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### 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 ...

**1**

vote

**2**answers

644 views

### 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 ...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

297 views

### 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 ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### 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 ...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

701 views

### 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