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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms

15
votes
3answers
651 views

Mathematical structures

Preamble: My previous education was focused either on classical analysis (which was given in quite old traditions, I guess) or on applied Mathematics. Since I was feeling lack of knowledge in 'modern' ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

Why bother with Mathematics, if Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem is true?

OK, maybe the title is exaggerated, but is it true that the rest of math is just "good enough", or a good approximation of absolute truth - like Newtonian physics compared to general relativity? How ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Why some people don't like proofs by contradiction [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are the “proofs by contradiction” weaker than other proofs? I have been active on this site for two months and on a few occasions I noticed that some people ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Definition of “non-constructive proof”

I was wondering if it is possible to define exactly what a non-constructive (nc) proof is. I have often seen the concept associated with the use of principles such as the axiom of choice or the law of ...
2
votes
4answers
243 views

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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Proposition vs Theorem

What is the distinction between a proposition and a theorem? How do people decide which of the 2 to use in, say, textbooks? Somehow I think proposition sounds less serious... Thanks.
38
votes
3answers
1k views

What is your method?

Many young, and not so young, mathematicians struggle with how to spend their time. Perhaps this is due to the 90%-10% rule for mathematical insight: 90 pages of work yield only 10 pages of useful ...
67
votes
8answers
4k views

Why are all the interesting constants so small?

A quick look at the wikipedia entry on mathematical constants suggests that the most important fundamental constants all live in the immediate neighborhood of the first few positive integers. Is ...
18
votes
7answers
1k views

Definition of definition

I was wondering if there is a good way to "define" what definition means exactly in mathematics. Since the answers may be subjective or philosophical, I want to ask only for references on this topic. ...
5
votes
5answers
755 views

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 + ...
11
votes
4answers
570 views

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. ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Common misconceptions about math

YARFMO (Yet another reposting from Mathoverflow) ;-) The more you know about math the more you find conceptions previously thought correct to be false: 1.) math is not as exact as many believe - in ...
1
vote
2answers
263 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

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 ...