**1**

vote

**2**answers

347 views

### 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 ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

840 views

### What is the modern consensus on the difficulty of infinitesimals?

At a related thread at MSE an expert in reverse mathematics noted that "As the modern consensus is that only nonstandard models have infinitesimals, it will be quite challenging to give a concrete ...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

373 views

### Taller models of ZFC

This question is somewhat related to a previous one, where I asked for new forms of infinite beyond the cardinal hierarchy.
Using forcing techniques, at least the ones I know of, one starts from a ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

143 views

### What restriction(s) of Goedel's primitive recursive functionals is (are) necessary and sufficient to prove the consistency of $PRA$

It is well known that one can use Goedel's primitive recursive functionals of finite type to prove the consistency of $PA$ (Peano Arithmetic). As such, one can certainly use them to prove the ...

**43**

votes

**7**answers

5k views

### Why hasn't mereology succeeded 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 ...

**28**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Can a problem be simultaneously polynomial time and undecidable?

The Robertson-Seymour theorem on graph minors leads to some interesting conundrums.
The theorem states that any minor-closed class of graphs can be described by a finite number of excluded minors. As ...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

568 views

### Is platonism regarding arithmetic consistent with the multiverse view in set theory?

A "truth" platonist for arithmetic believes, given a statement in the language of arithmetic, that the problem whether the statement is true has a definite answer.
Prof. Hamkins has argued for a ...

**5**

votes

**3**answers

610 views

### What does the axiom of replacement mean and why should I believe it?

Here Professor Blass describes the following cumulative hierarchy of sets:
Begin with some non-set entities called atoms ("some" could be "none" if you want a world consisting exclusively of ...

**3**

votes

**1**answer

182 views

### A question regarding the consistency of Nelson's Predicative Arithmetic

Following Dan Willard (from his paper "Self-Verifying Axiom Systems, the Incompleteness Theorem, and Related Reflection Systems", found on his homepage, pdf here):
"Define an axiom system $\alpha$ ...

**17**

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 ...

**22**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### 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 ...

**11**

votes

**0**answers

465 views

### Arguments against Freiling's argument against Continuum Hypothesis

Freiling's axiom of symmetry ($\sf AS$) is known as a justification for falsity of Continuum Hypothesis. Freiling in his 1986 paper, Axioms of symmetry: throwing darts at the real number line, ...

**1**

vote

**1**answer

231 views

### Does mathematical induction presuppose the existence of a completed infinity?

Consider the following statement by Edward Nelson--this from the "Outline" of his 'proof' of the inconsistency of $PA$ (which Terry Tao found to contain an error):
"The induction axiom schema of ...

**32**

votes

**5**answers

7k views

### Categorical foundations without set theory

Can there be a foundations of mathematics using only category theory, i.e. no set theory? More precisely, the definition of a category is a class/set of objects and a class/set of arrows, satisfying ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

104 views

### Some questions regarding an alteration of Grzegorczyk's theory of concatenation, $\operatorname{TC}$

Consider Grzegorczyk's concatenation theory $\operatorname{TC}$, a "weak theory of words over the two letter alphabet $\Sigma=\{a,b\}$" (this from Grzegorczyk and Zdanowski's paper Undecidability and ...

**58**

votes

**38**answers

12k 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 ...

**53**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### 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 ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

376 views

### 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 ...

**2**

votes

**0**answers

107 views

### 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 ...

**54**

votes

**2**answers

15k 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 ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

208 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 ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

301 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 ...

**7**

votes

**1**answer

564 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

992 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 $\neg CH$ ...

**70**

votes

**21**answers

12k 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

73 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 ...

**57**

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 ...

**22**

votes

**5**answers

2k 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 ...

**19**

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 ...

**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

236 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 ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

272 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: ...

**19**

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

329 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 ...

**54**

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 ...

**31**

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 ...

**56**

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

248 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

681 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

958 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

221 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 ...

**25**

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 ...

**10**

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 ...

**46**

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

428 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 ...