Meta-theory is the term for the theory in which mathematics is formalized (often PA, ZFC or similar theories). Meta-mathematical statements are statements which are evaluated at the level of the meta-theory rather than the theory. This tag is for questions regarding meta-mathematical theories, and ...

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Why in general there is no systematic way to find counterexamples? What kind of property do they all break that lead to this? and other things

We came across counterexamples in many areas of mathematics: For example Sum of irrational numbers not necessary being irrational The "Windmill blade" function (for lack of a better name of one of ...
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Given any set of consistent axioms, is it always possible to find a model for these axioms in ZFC set theory?

If not, are there any conditions under which there must be a model under ZFC theory? Alternatively, is there any set of axioms for which this does hold true? If so, can we drop some of the axioms and ...
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Help understand theorem that any set of first order sentences satisfied by N has a model that's a strict superset of N.

I saw the following theorem (in Computational Complexity book by Papadimitriou, p. 111) : Theorem : If $\Delta$ is a set of first-order sentences such that $N$ $\vDash \Delta$, then there ...
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Separability in Algebra and Topology

I am wondering about the use of the word separablity in two different areas of mathematics, namely algebra and topology. In topology, we call a topological space $(X,\mathscr{T})$ if it contains a ...
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Connection regularity in measure theory and approximation in premeasure

In the measure theory lecture, we defined a measure-theoretic content as follows: $ \mu: \mathscr{C} \rightarrow [0,\infty]$ with the property being additive on disjoint sets and that the empty set ...
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Relationship between completeness and well ordering (meta).

Here is the definition for completeness of the reals (there are many equivalent formulations but I am interested in this one); Completeness: Every non-empty subset of the reals which is bounded above ...
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Primitive recursion and $\Delta^0_0$

Until recently I assumed that primitive recursive relations are exactly $\Delta^0_0$ (i.e. bounded) ones, but I learned they're different (the former is a proper superclass of the latter). I have ...
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Is this visual analogy to Gödel's incompleteness theorem accurate?

Today I was trying to explaining the Gödel's theorem to a layman, I've drawn a figure similar to the one below and said that: A truth is a consequence of the axioms (with the axioms also being ...
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Prove the Dual-Converse Relationship

Using a Hilbert-type system, given $ E \sim F ,E' \sim F', E \implies F $ prove $ F' \implies E' $ where a propositional formula A' is obtained by interchanging & and V in A. My answer is ...
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Prove $ A \supset B , B \supset C \vdash A \supset C $ [closed]

From Kleene's Introduction to Metamathematics, page 94 : "as further examples [of deduction] the reader may establish : " $ A \supset B , B \supset C \vdash A \supset C $. (Here ...
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Using the notion of provability only, how to show that $\Gamma \nvdash \varphi$?

For a practical example, suppose I want to show that $\{ P\} \nvdash Q$. From completeness, this is trivial: just find a model where $P$ is true and $Q$ false. But suppose I am stubborn and I don't ...
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Is there a standard name for using a function application, rather than a variable, as a summation index, as in $\sum_{f(x)}$?

I am trying to find out whether there is a standard notion of generalizing indexing such as $\sum_i$ to function applications as in $\sum_{f(x)}$. Intuitively, the latter means "iterating over all ...
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Dependence of axioms of Zermelo set theory

I'm reading a book about Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, and I was told that there are a lot of dependence relation among the commonly used axiom system (in the question What axioms does ZF have, ...
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70 views

Are Euclid's Axioms Non-Logical or Logical

This question may seem trivial, but I recently became aware of the distinction between the two types of axioms: Logical and non-logical. What category does Euclid's fall under? I would assume they ...
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Is there an area of study regarding why certain mathematical definitions are useful?

Often in my studies I'll come across an definition, which I understand, and but don't necessarily see why the particular definition was chosen to be studied. For example, the topological axioms ...
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For someone who loves mathematics - the more theoretical, the better - what type of engineering would you recommend?

I'm thinking there must be a type of engineering where math is strongly involved. What type of engineering would you suggest?
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How to show Universal Quantifier distributes over implication?

How to show Universal Quantifier distributes over implication? I've tried to no avail to show $\forall x(P(x) \implies Q(x))$ is equivalent to $\forall x(P(x)) \implies \forall (Q(x))$ but it seems no ...
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What is the difference from a theorem and a meta-theorem?

I'm confused about what a meta-theorem exactly is and if a meta-theorem can be used to prove a theorem. To illustrate my confusion i give an example. Given the three statements: Every vector space ...
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Meaning of symbols $\vdash$ and $ \models$

I'm confused about the use of symbols $\vdash$ and $ \models$. Reading the answers to Notation Question: What does $\vdash$ mean in logic? and What is the meaning of the double turnstile symbol ...
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Good source on current 'views and thoughts' on mathematics

Recently I've become interested in the history of the way people think about mathematics. What I mean by this is for example how Godels proof basically put an end to the whole school of thought ...
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Model-theoretic question about language of field theory.

Let $\mathscr{L}=\{+,·\}$ be the language of the theory of fields. Let $\phi$ be a sentence in this language. Show, using the compactness theorem of first-order logic, that if $\phi$ holds in finite ...
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Most general mathematical framework

One can think of the same mathematical object in many different ways. For example take $\mathbb{R}$. One can think of this as (assume necessary hypotheses and so on) As a group. As a one ...
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Where can I learn about Mathematical Philosophy?

This is a very vague question, but a question nonetheless. I am becoming increasingly more interested in what can be vaguely categorized as Mathematical Philosophy, or more specifically perhaps, ...
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Has the Gödel sentence been explicitly produced?

I do not pretend to know much about mathematical logic. But my curiosity was piqued when I read Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach, which tries to explain the proof of Gödel's first incompleteness ...
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Where can I find an ontology of algebraic structures?

A group is a monoid where every element admits an inverse, A ring is a monoid under multiplication that distributes over a commutative group A field is a ring whose non-zero elements form a group ...
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The standard role of intuitive numbers in the foundations of mathematics

In my career I've been formed mostly in the formal side of mathematics, that is, standard set theory and every classical branch of mathematics that uses set theory. However, I am not quite sure about ...
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Can a non-classical logic be used as a meta-logic to develop classical logic?

I have read much about non-classical logics such that paraconsistent logics , relevance logics , substructural logics , non-monotonic logic and so on. I think that the meta-logic logicians use to ...
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General view of Theorems

I'm trying to see almost all theorems ( at least the non-existential ones ) as affirming that some formula ( mostly of first-order logic language ) is a logical consequence of other formulas. So, ...
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First-Order Logic: Non-Normal Model of Sentences True in all Normal Models?

Let $\mathcal{L}$ be a first-order language with quantifier $\forall$, connectives $\neg$ and $\rightarrow$, a two-place predicate $E$ and a one-place function symbol $f$. There are no other ...
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Maths, esp. Godel, and poetry

At the risk of being an interloper: I'm a poet with a bit of mathematical training. Right now I've got a grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to write a collection (loosely) based on the ...
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58 views

What exactly is a property?

How is a property $P$ formally defined in mathematics? I mean for example if $f$ is a morphism from an object $X$ to $Y$ in some category, then somehow I feel that "has codomain $Y$" is too broad to ...
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Are all theorems of minimal arithmetic theorems of a given theory?

I am working on some metamathematics revision and the following question came up. Let the theory $R_0$ be axiomatized by the following axiom schemata which hold for all $n,m \in \mathbb{N}$: ...
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Use of propositional logic connectives in the meta-language

I have a doubt that might seem a bit confusing so i will try to explain it the clearer i can. Suppose we have an expression "A o B" in the meta-language, where 'o' refers to those logical ...
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What is gained by internalizing LST (the language of set theory)?

I'm reading up on Gödels constructible universe L in the book "Constructibility" by Devlin, and by comparing his text with texts like Kunen and Jech, there is one thing in particular that he's doing ...
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Satisfiability Proof Question

Exercise: Prove that $\Gamma\models A$ iff $\Gamma\cup\{\neg A\}$ is not satisfiable. Proof: We must prove two clauses: $\Gamma\models A\Rightarrow \Gamma\cup\{\neg A\}$ is not satisfiable ...
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Do metatheoretic results carry between mutually interpretable theories?

If two theories A and B are mutually interpretable, in the sense of there existing a translation procedure from A to B and from B to A, does it follow that whatever metatheoretic results (e.g., ...
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Stats is not maths?

How mainstream is the claim that stats is not maths? And if it's right, how many people don't agree? Given that it's all numbers, taught by maths departments and you get maths credits for it, I ...
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Is there a useful application of Peano arithmetic?

If there is, can someone provide an example of how Peano arithmetic can be used to solve a real-world problem? If not, can someone provide an example of any axiomatic system other than ZFC that can ...
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Clarification of a remark of J. Steel on the independence of Goldbach from ZFC

On page 424 of the following paper: S. Feferman, Harvey M. Friedman, P. Maddy and John R. Steel, ``Does Mathematics Need New Axioms?'' The Bulletin of Symbolic Logic, Vol. 6, No. 4 (Dec., 2000), pp. ...
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The mathematics of mathematical knowledge

It's been many years since I did any real mathematics but last night after pondering the process involved in my mathematical journey I had an idea about the abstraction of how mathematical analysis ...
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question about Gödel numbering

I have a question about Gödel numbering, it is trivial but I would like to know how can you know the length of an expression through its Gödel number. ¿? I think you can use a recursive function but ...
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Is mathematics the only language that is not subject of interpretation?

Do you know any other "language" that is used by people except mathematics and is not subject of interpretation? By subject of interpratation I mean e.g. that 1 000 000 people will undertand that 1 + ...
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A Simpler Characterization of Inductive Definitions?

While reading appendix A of John Harrison's "Handbook of Practical Logic and Automated Reasoning" a somewhat advanced theorem is appealed to as a prerequisite for characterizing when an inductive ...
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Meaning and example(s) of Qiaochu's quote.

I happen to come across this page http://math.uchicago.edu/~chonoles/quotations.html which contains some beautiful quotes by various mathematicians and I came across Qiaochu's quote as claimed by the ...
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758 views

What branch of mathematics is most needed in the industry or how one can make living with mathematics (apart from teaching)?

If you learn carpentry or programming you have the clear options of becoming a carpenter or programmer. But what if you learn mathematics? I know that there are some financial institutions out there, ...
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Are there formal systems that can not be proved to be complete or incomplete?

I'm reading GEB and was thinking about this. Are there any formal systems where the proof of their completeness/incompleteness is unprovable? This question could go ad infinitum. Could there be any ...
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Separation of mathematics and metamathematics

I recall reading that it's important to separate mathematics and metamathematics. What exactly does this mean, and why is it so? I understand that this question may make no sense without more ...
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Does a “solution map” system like this already exist?

I was doing this simple Calc 1 problem and it took me forever to get it right and it was embarrassing. I could see that the problem was easy but I just couldn't 'see' what I was doing. I couldn't ...
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How to address mistakes in published papers?

I have recently discovered some mistakes in a published maths article. I have contacted the author pointing out politely my concerns, but I got no specific answer, just a "polite" one, that the ...
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Has anyone ever tried to develop a theory based on a negation of a commonly believed conjecture?

I know that plenty of theorems have been published assuming the Riemann hypothesis to be true. I understand that the main goal of such research is to have a theory ready when someone finally proves ...