Questions involving philosophy of mathematics

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2
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1answer
103 views

Do circles exist

So I was wondering about circles today and if they really do exsist. If you graph a circle in function mode, your equation looks like$$y=\sqrt{1-x^2}$$ Now for simple purposes lets take a portion of ...
6
votes
8answers
536 views

Positive and negative complex numbers?

Can there be such a thing as positive and negative complex numbers? Why or why not? What about positive or negative imaginary numbers? It seems very tempting to say $+5i$ is a positive number ...
6
votes
1answer
195 views

New Axioms of Infinity

Axiom of Infinity says there is an inductive set (i.e. a set which includes $\emptyset$ and is closed under successor operator). Formally: $Inf:\exists x~(\emptyset\in x~\wedge~\forall y\in ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Variable theory

I wanted to know if there's any alternative variable theory to Russell's used in his Principia. I mean, the modern definition of "variable" and "constant" still follows his works? I try to search on ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Do the Kolmogorov's axioms permit speaking of frequencies of occurence in any meaningful sense?

It is frequently stated (in textbooks, on Wikipedia) that the "Law of large numbers" in mathematical probability theory is a statement about relative frequencies of occurrence of an event in a finite ...
3
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6answers
188 views

Logical issues with the weak law of large numbers and its interpretation

In several probability textbooks I have found what amounts to the following argument: Let A be an event in some probabilistic experiment. Let p=P(A) be the probability of this event occurring in ...
1
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2answers
69 views

How an axiomatic system is made?

An axiom is a sentence that is taken to be true without a proof. A set of (well organised) axioms is called an axiomatic system. As consequence of these axioms we get a lot of results that we call ...
5
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4answers
142 views

“The enrapturing discoveries of our field systematically conceal (…) the analogical train of thought that is the authentic life of mathematics…”

In the preface of the book Discrete Thoughts, Gian-Carlo Rota writes: Sometime, in a future that is knocking at our door, we shall have to retrain ourselves or our children to properly tell the ...
3
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2answers
83 views

How does undecidability of 'theoremhood' imply that human ingenuity is necessary in mathematics?

In Robert Stoll's "Set Theory and Logic", there is the following passage on effectiveness of theorems (p. 375) : Mathematical logicians have shown that for many interesting axiomatic theories ...
3
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1answer
162 views

Errors of Euler interpretation?

To complement the recent post on Euler's errors, I would pose the following question: what common errors of Euler interpetation appear in the literature? What errors are attributed to Euler's work in ...
2
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0answers
66 views

What if segments are not infinitely divisible?

I almost got myself mixed up I a philosophical discussion again. Somebody was talking about the Planck time and length which are, according to him, the minimal possible time and distance, and how ...
3
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1answer
140 views

First and Second Fundamental Form Intuition

I was just wondering what various quantities relating to the first and second fundamental forms of a regular surface mean intuitively. First of all, another explanation as to what the first and second ...
1
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1answer
59 views

What exactly does $\vdash_T G_T \leftrightarrow \lnot \exists y$ Prf$(\ulcorner G_T \urcorner, y)$ mean?

To me this translates to: $G_T$ is provable in $T$ if and only if there doesn't exist a $y$ such that $y$ is a witness to the provability of $\ulcorner G_T \urcorner$. But I'm not entirely sure what ...
6
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3answers
212 views

Is math independent of our sensory experience? [closed]

I've been asking myself this and other questions in the field of philosophy of mathematics. Could we, if we were isolated from any kind of sensory experience, be able to learn mathematics? Also, what ...
1
vote
4answers
116 views

Where does the importance of math come from? [closed]

It is a somewhat philosophical question. I personally believe that the importance of math is due to its usefulness and lots of applications. Mathematics is used in everywhere nowadays; as Ian Stewart ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Sheafs appearing in philosophy?

I apologize in advance if I make mistakes in the following construction. I have very recently been introduced to the concept of a sheaf. I am currently a mathematics major and philosophy minor and ...
2
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1answer
56 views

I currently know Calculus I — What steps would I take to understand Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory?

While this question can be discussed, it should have a clear answer by stating the following: How can one go from a high school / low-level college understanding of mathematics (completed Calculus ...
3
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0answers
50 views

How does one create “good” math problems?

As lifelong students of mathematics, we find problem-solving to be absolutely essential to enhance our understanding of the subject. Teaching others what we know serves to reinforce our existing ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Interpretation of Riemann rearrangement theorem [closed]

There's a common thing that happens in mathematics, which is that all theorems are created equal, but some are more equal than others. Here are two examples of what I mean by that. (1) In Euclid, the ...
2
votes
3answers
100 views

Regarding the validity of probability theory [closed]

Imagine I have a regular balanced dice and i roll it once. It is assumed that the probability of any number (1-6) is 1/6. However, isn't this just an illusion we are feeding ourselves for our lack of ...
114
votes
23answers
10k views

Can a coin with an unknown bias be treated as fair?

This morning, I wanted to flip a coin to make a decision but no coins were in reach. There was however an SD card on my desk: Given that I don't know the bias of this SD card, would flipping it be ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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 ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Need help locating a paper

One of the references of the paper Paulo Régis C. Ruffino, A Criticism on "A Mathematician's Apology" by G. H. Hardy (arXiv:1112.4499 [math.HO]) is: Vershik, A. M. – A Dangerous Joke, The ...
3
votes
3answers
88 views

Can I create my own function like Trigonometric or Exponential

When I want to solve mathematical problems, most of the time I meet the following functions Algebraic like polynomials. Trigonometric like sin(), cos(), tan(), cot(). Logarithmic like log(). ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

Theorems that we can prove only by contradiction

While most of the world is fine with proofs performed by contradicting the thesis, direct proofs are sometimes considered more elegant than indirect ones. Those who prefer intuitionism or ...
3
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4answers
142 views

Soft question: Examples where implications derived from mathematical models failed to describe reality

I have always been fascinated by how well conclusions drawn from mathematical models could fit reality, so I wondered if there are any counter examples. In "Gödel, Escher, Bach" I could already find ...
7
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2answers
226 views

How to explain ✳43.3 and ✳43.31 in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

Take ✳43.3 for example, I presume $ P = R |Q $ where R is fixed. $ R| $ is the relation between $R|Q$ and $Q$, ie. $ R| = \hat{P} \hat{Q} \{ P = R|Q \} $ $Ɑ‘R|= \hat{Q}\{ E! R|‘Q \}$ Given that ...
0
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0answers
62 views

A Question Regarding Ordinal Turing Machines

Consider the following theorem of Koepke: 'A set x of ordinals is ordinal computable from a finite set of ordinal parameters if and only if it is an element of the constructible universe L". Taking ...
3
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3answers
258 views

Visualizing mathematics and geometry

Im writing a paper on the role of visualization in mathematics and specifically geometry. I was wondering if it is possible to represent any arbitrary system of relations and manipulable objects ...
0
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0answers
32 views

The role of verifiable computing in the formalization of mathematics

I've been thinking about this for a while, and it seems to me that mathematics "works" because (in principle) we can to check proofs very quickly, even though the discovery of that proof may have ...
7
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1answer
263 views

Exactly who popularized the modern definition of domain and codomain of functions?

In Whitehead and Russell's Principia, domain is the referents of relation; converse domain is the relata. Modern function in mathematics is just one special case of relation whose referent is unique ...
3
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3answers
114 views

Implications and Ordinary language

I studied propositional logic, and everyday I see applications of what I learned on the internet, in mathematical books and miscelaneous resources. One particular case is sentences in the form ...
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4answers
151 views

Is mathematics a science? [duplicate]

Is mathematics a science? I have long considered this to be open to debate, but my professor said that he once heard the quote, ...
5
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2answers
286 views

Who stole the axioms in Natural Deduction?

The study of Gentzen's sequent calculus give me the opportunity to propose some reflections about the concept of logical truth. I'll refer to the english edition of Gentzen's works : The collected ...
0
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2answers
93 views

About the concept of logical truth

From Frege and Russell to modern mathematical logic textbooks, there were a "shift" of focus from the concept of logical truth, through that of valid formula, to the current concepts of logical ...
5
votes
0answers
124 views

Gödel's Completeness Theorem and logical consequence

At the end of a long process of "rumination" on "old" math log textbooks, I've found the "missing link" - from my personal point of view - between some issues I've raised in the previous months : (i) ...
5
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2answers
79 views

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 ...
5
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5answers
348 views

Are there finitely many interesting theorems? [closed]

I'm not a logician, I read, a long time ago, about Gödel etc... A theorem is a provable proposition under a system of axiom. Let's take the usual system of ZFC. Of course, the notion interesting is ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

In an infinity of choices, is it possible to guess the correct one?

So I've been thinking about the infinite universes model, where each possible action or event creates a new universe for each outcome. For example, if you flip a coin there will be one universe in ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Large Operators?

Large operators have always seems strange to me, sometimes their meaning is based on the symbol and other times it has no correlation. For instance, the summation (sigma) has no relation to the ...
0
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1answer
56 views

What is the “lowest” set of axioms that can be used in proofs?

What is the most basic set of axioms that one can use in proofs? As in, the axioms are irreducible. The most basic set of irrefutable rules in mathematics. I assume it has something to do with number ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Reformulation of Theories

Philosophical questions (or even just a matter of taste) regarding some mathematical constructions can give rise to reformulations of whole theories, for example, we can develop (Non-standard) ...
1
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2answers
147 views

What problems are there left to solve? [closed]

From the ancient Greek mathematicians (Archimedes, Pythagoras) before Christ to Issac Newton to George Birkhoff, these mathematicians have made huge strides in mathematics, developing theorems and ...
5
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3answers
113 views

On trusting the mathematical process [closed]

In studying math we are, at least partially, interested in making abstraction of real world problems and solving them through rigorous techniques and methods, and then interpreting the result. Let us ...
11
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2answers
193 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

Again about McGee objections to modus ponens

I would like to "reopen" the previous post regarding Modus ponens because, frankly speaking, I'm not satisfied with some (most of ?) answers by the mathematicians community. Disclaim: I'm not aiming ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Finality of mathematics [duplicate]

A random question came to me, which looks something like this : Is there such a thing as a "finality" of mathematics ? What I mean is can we imagine a time where there would be no more mathematics to ...
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2answers
87 views

How is it possible for something to be less then nothing? [duplicate]

What is the ontological state of negative numbers? Is it a human invention or a does it live with reality?
5
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7answers
256 views

What is the right interpretation of the axiom of extensionality

A set $a$ can be called extensional if it has the following propery: $$\forall b\left[\forall x\left[x\in b\iff x\in a\right]\Rightarrow a=b\right]$$ Based on this the axiom of extensionality can be ...
1
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3answers
136 views

When and where the concept of valid logic formula was defined?

I was stimulated by a recent question about Gödel Completeness Theorem. All my citations are from Jean van Heijenoort (editor) From Frege to Gödel A Source Book in Mathematical Logic (1967). Gödel's ...