2
votes
1answer
71 views

What cardinals do we actually need?

I recently heard of a great variant of set theory called "Pocket Set Theory" in which the only two cardinalities are that of $\mathbb N$ and that of $\mathbb R$ (and the latter is a proper class). ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Why are large cardinal axioms actually axioms?

A cardinal is an isomorphism class in ZFC, or a representative of one. I'm not asking what the significant uses of large cardinals are, or why we would want to find them or construct them; I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Largest infinite cardinal used in a proof

I've heard before that Knuth holds the record for the largest constant used in a mathematical proof. I was wondering what is the largest cardinal ever explicitly considered in set theory. I presume ...
6
votes
5answers
314 views

Are there more real numbers than we can actually imagine?

I mean, if we could imagine all the real numbers then we could assign each number a finite sentence (or a finite book). Since the set of the finite books is countable then the set of real numbers ...
31
votes
7answers
1k views

Refuting the Anti-Cantor Cranks

I occasionally have the opportunity to argue with anti-Cantor cranks, people who for some reason or the other attack the validity of Cantor's diagonalization proof of the uncountability of the real ...
6
votes
2answers
195 views

What happens after the cardinality $\mathfrak{c}$?

While having measure theory this year the following came in my mind: When we go from finite objects to infinite we "lose" a lot of properties. For example the summation isn't well defined ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

How to explain that $\Bbb{R}$ is not countable to a non-mathematician

What is the best way to explain that $\Bbb{R}$ is not countable assuming that the audience is formed of people who are not mathematicians? I ask this because these days I'm in a debate with someone ...
3
votes
2answers
266 views

Number of elements vs cardinality vs size

I have been wondered the definition of cardinality and number of elements. One mathematician told me that one can't said that the cardinality or size of the set $\{1\}$ is one, it should be said that ...
-1
votes
1answer
96 views

What would be the consequence of restricting multiplication by Zero to only Finite Cardinals? [closed]

What would be the consequence of restricting multiplication by Zero to only Finite Cardinals? Would this lead to contradictions? How could it be achieved?