The math-philosophy tag has no wiki summary.

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### Are numbers fundamental mathematical entities? [on hold]

This question came to my mind after seeing Vi Hart's video on YouTube about the "number" Wau and the answer I gave there to the question "what is the number Wau?". As far as I know, numbers have ...

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### How does a mathematician sees the numbers? [on hold]

When I look at a tree - I see the tree. I feel the tree in my head, it's shape, it's presence - everything about it. When I look at a number or a math expression I see only the expression and the ink ...

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**8**answers

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### Uninteresting questions with interesting answers [on hold]

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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**5**answers

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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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### 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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**1**answer

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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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**9**answers

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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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**1**answer

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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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**2**answers

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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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**0**answers

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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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**6**answers

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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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**7**answers

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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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### 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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**2**answers

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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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**3**answers

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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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### 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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**1**answer

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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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**1**answer

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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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### 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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### 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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**1**answer

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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

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### 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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### 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]

Let $a$ and $b$ are two "objects". What is the meaning of $a=b$? This is one of the deepest problems of philosophy and logic because one needs a complete information about ...

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**3**answers

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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 ...