Questions about mathematical logic, including model theory, proof theory, computability theory (a.k.a. recursion theory), and non-standard logics. Consider using one of the following tags: (model-theory), (set-theory), (computability), (proof-theory) if they fit the question.

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A concrete example of Gödel's Incompleteness theorem

Gödel's incompleteness theorem says "Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively ...
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444 views

What is an example of a Transfinite Argument?

I was in a discussion today with a philosopher about the merit of the technique of "proof by contradiction." He mentioned the Law of Excluded Middle, wherein we (typically as mathematicians) assume ...
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Are sets constructed using only ZF measurable using ZFC?

Suppose $S$ is a subset of $\mathbb{R}$ which can be defined without using the axiom of choice, i.e. which can be proved to exist using only the axioms of ZF. Does it follow that $S$ is measurable? ...
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In axiomatization of propositional logic, why can uniform substitution be applied only to axioms?

I'm reading an introductory book about mathematical logic for Computation (just for reference, the book is "Lógica para Computação", by Corrêa da Silva, Finger & Melo), and would like to ask a ...
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465 views

What underlies formal logic (or math, generally)?

I read a useful definition of the word understanding. I can't recall it verbatim, but the notion was that understanding is 'data compression': understanding happens when we learn one thing that ...
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533 views

What practical proofs work in intuitionistic but not minimal logic?

Intuitionistic logic contains the rule $\bot \rightarrow \phi$ for every $\phi$. In the formulations I have seen this is a separate axiom, and the logic without this axiom(?) is termed "minimal ...
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549 views

successful absurd formalities

Has anyone published in print or on a web site or elsewhere a compilation of successful illogical formal arguments? By those I mean arguments that follow a form in disregard of the legality of its ...
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408 views

What is the most influential work of Grothendieck in mathematics?

Recently Alexander Grothendieck has passed away but his mathematical wave is still alive and passes its growth ages. It is hard to describe the influence of such a great man in mathematics just in few ...
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Proof by Contradiction, Circular Reasoning?

Suppose we wish to prove $P$ implies $Q$. We assume $P$. Proof by contradiction begins by assuming not $Q$, and from these two assumptions, a "contradiction" is derived. Now, sometimes that ...
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Why is it possible to conclude everything from a false statement? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: In classical logic, why is (p -> q) True if both p and q are False? Why an inconsistent formal system can prove everything? I heard a professor of mathematics ...
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Why König's lemma isn't “obvious”?

I keep facing König's lemma "Every finitely branching infinite tree over $\mathbb{N}$ has infinite branch". Why it is not taken "obvious" but needs a careful proof? It seems somewhat obvious, but I ...
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What philosophical consequence of Goedel's incompleteness theorems?

I want to write a philosophical essay centered about Goedel's incompleteness theorem. However I cannot find any real philosophical consequences that I can write more than half a page about. I read the ...
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Does proof by contradiction assume that math is consistent?

The standard proof by contradiction goes like It is known that $P$ is true. Assume that $Q$ is true. Using the laws of logic, deduce that $P$ is false. Rejecting this contradiction, we are forced to ...
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Do De Morgan's laws hold in propositional intuitionistic logic?

In Wikipedia page on intuitionistic logic, it is stated that excluded middle and double negation elimination are not axioms. Does this mean that De Morgan's laws, stated $$ \lnot (p \land q) \iff ...
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337 views

A sentence false in a field of characteristic $0$ but true in all fields of positive characteristic?

Consider the language $L=\{+,\cdot, 0, 1\}$ of rings. It is easy to show using compactness that if $\sigma$ is a sentence that holds in all fields of characteristic $0$, there is some $N\in \mathbb N$ ...
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9 pirates have to divide 1000 coins…

A band of 9 pirates have just finished their latest conquest - looting, killing and sinking a ship. The loot amounts to 1000 gold coins. Arriving on a deserted island, they now have to split up the ...
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1answer
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Do you need the Axiom of Choice to assert that every real vector space has a norm?

Math people: This question is 95% answered (the first answer) at Does every $\mathbb{R},\mathbb{C}$ vector space have a norm? and Vector Spaces and AC . The questions, answers, and links found there ...
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Is quantum logic producing interesting/different mathematics?

Is quantum logic producing interesting/different mathematics? Is it different from the intuitionist approach to mathematics? How?
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336 views

What does it mean to say that a particular mathematical theory is a foundation for mathematics?

We usually hear that set theory is a foundation for contemporary mathematics. Category theory is also another foundation of maths. There are other theories which deemed to be a foundation for maths. ...
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complete, finitely axiomatizable, theory with 3 countable models

Does it exist a complete, finitely axiomatizable, first-order theory $T$ with exactly 3 countable non-isomorphic models? A few relevant comments: There is a classical example of a complete theory ...
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Quantifier Notation

What's the difference between $\forall \space x \space \exists \space y$ and $\exists \space y \space \forall \space x$ ? I don't believe they mean the same thing even though the quantifiers are ...
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7answers
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Is XOR a combination of AND and NOT operators?

I'm not sure whether this is the best place to ask this, but is the XOR binary operator a combination of AND+NOT operators?
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4answers
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Number Theory in a Choice-less World

I was reading this article on the axiom of choice (AC) and it mentions that a growing number of people are moving into school of thought that considers AC unacceptable due to its lack of constructive ...
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3answers
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How is addition defined?

I've been reading On Numbers and Games and I noticed that Conway defines addition in his number system in terms of addition. Similarly in the analysis and logic books that I've read (I'm sure that ...
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Examples of statements which are true but not provable

Speaking informally and working, for example, in Peano Arithmetic (PA), we know that the essence of the Gödel's first incompleteness theorem is that there are true statements (in our model PA), which ...
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Is $\forall x\,\exists y\, Q(x, y)$ the same as $\exists y\,\forall x\,Q(x, y)$?

is $\forall x\,\exists y\, Q(x, y)$ the same as $\exists y\,\forall x\,Q(x, y)$? I read in the book that the order of quantifiers make a big difference so I was wondering if these two expressions ...
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Unnecessary property in definition of topological space

A set $X$ with a subset $\tau\subset \mathcal{P}(X)$ is called a topological space if: $X\in\tau$ and $\emptyset\in \tau$. Let $L$ be any set. If $\{A_\lambda\}_{\lambda\in ...
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Proper way to read $\forall$ - “for all” or “for every”?

I was asked in class the other day by a professor for whom English is a second language why $\forall$ is sometimes read "for all" while other times read "for every." Is there a rule for this? I was ...
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1answer
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What's the theory in which incompleteness of PA is proved?

Maybe this is a dumb question, but I have to admit that it is not really clear to me what the theory is, in which incompleteness of PA and stronger theories is proved. The texts I did study so far are ...
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1answer
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What's the difference between material implication and logical implication?

When I read the definitions of material and logical implications, they seem to me pretty much equivalent. Could someone give me an example illustrating the difference? (BTW, I have no problem with ...
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386 views

Is second order logic even a logic?

Second order logic is a language, but, is it a logic? My understanding is that a logic (or "logical system") is an ordered pair; it is a formal system together with a semantics. However, the language ...
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1answer
692 views

Do you need the Axiom of Choice to accept Cantor's Diagonal Proof?

Math people: It is my understanding that set theorists/logicians compare cardinalities of sets using injections rather than surjections. Wikipedia defines countable sets in terms of injections. ...
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“Proof” that ZFC is inconsistent using Turing machines

I came across the following "proof" for the inconsistency of ZFC and can't find the flaw in it (if there is one...): Construct a Turing machine A which sequentially runs on all proofs in ZFC and ...
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What's an example of a theory that's consistent yet has no model?

By the completeness theorem for first order logic, if a theory is consistent then it has a model. But what's a counterexample to this : what's an example of a logic where some theory is consistent ...
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1answer
202 views

Can all math results be formalized and checked by a computer?

Can all math results, that have been correctly proven so far, be formalized and checked by a computer? If so, what type of logic would need to be used there? I've heard that the first-order logic is ...
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261 views

What do we call entities (like $\sum$) that bind variables?

In logic, we refer to entities like $\forall$ and $\exists$ as quantifiers, because they bind variables. However, variable-binding doesn't just occur at quantifiers. For example, the symbol $i$ ...
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Which texts to study mathematical logic, for subsequently studying Godel's incompleteness theorems?

I want to study Godel's incompleteness theorems and I look for a text which provide mathematical logic with a nice way to make me able to study Godel's incompleteness theorems I didn't study ...
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1answer
780 views

Is there a simple group of any (infinite) size?

I'm trying to show that for any infinite cardinal $\kappa$ there is a simple group $G$ of size $\kappa$, I tried to use the compactness theorem and then ascending Löwenheim-Skolem, but this is ...
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1answer
512 views

Set of All Groups

In my undergraduate Group Theory class, while discussing the impossibility of equivalence relations on groups, my professor said that the set of all groups does not exist. Are there any group ...
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1answer
795 views

Is a Gödel sentence logically valid?

This might be an elementary question, but I am just beginning to learn logic theory. From wikipedia article on Gödel's incompleteness theorems Any effectively generated theory capable of ...
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Software for solving geometry questions

When I used to compete in Olympiad Competitions back in high school, a decent number of the easier geometry questions were solvable by what we called a geometry bash. Basically, you'd label every ...
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Tricks for Constructing Hilbert-Style Proofs

Several times in my studies, I've come across Hilbert-style proof systems for various systems of logic, and when an author says, "Theorem: $\varphi$ is provable in system $\cal H$," or "Theorem: the ...
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3answers
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On Pudlak's “Life in an Inconsistent World”

In his Logical Foundation of Mathematics and Computational Complexity (2013), Pavel Pudlak invites the readers to ponder about fictitious people whose natural numbers are nonstandard. His exposition ...
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1answer
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Primitive recursive function which isn't $\Delta_0$

What is the simplest/cutest example (and/or example with the most student-friendly proof that it is an example) of a primitive recursive function which isn't representable by a $\Delta_0$ wff?
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586 views

Does every complete theory admit quantifier elimination?

Does every complete theory admit quantifier elimination? I know that at least in some simple cases the reverse is true; such as some reducts of number theory.Thanks
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2answers
277 views

Is it possible to formalize the relationship between different proofs of the same theorem?

Some theorems have many proofs. Examples include the Pythagorean Theorem and the Law of Quadratic Reciprocity. I was wondering if one could formalize the relationship between these proofs. Sure, they ...
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Founding Arithmetic on geometry

In the past I found some fleeting references that some (Frege in his later years being one of them) tried to found arithmetic not on set-theory and logic but on geometry and logic. Unfortunedly Frege ...
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Two styles of semantics for a first-order language: what's to choose?

The usual classical semantics for FOL gets presented in two styles. Suppressing details irrelevant for the headline question, suppose the $L$-wff $\varphi(x)$ has only $x$ free, and let $I$ be a fixed ...
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The Power of Lambda Calculi

A simple question here, which likely demands a somewhat complex answer... Or rather, a set of related questions. What are the advantages of typed lambda calculus over untyped lambda calculus in ...
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How does Borelness overlap with definability, computability, or constructiveness?

Background: I am writing a short paper aimed at math undergrads and focused as narrowly as possible on Borel equivalence relations. So, e.g., I am not assuming familiarity with recursion theory and am ...