Questions involving philosophy of mathematics

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12
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2answers
199 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
161 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
69 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
88 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
votes
6answers
257 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
vote
3answers
144 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Why can't ✳1.1 be expressed symbollically in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

✳1.1. Anything implied by a true elementary proposition is true. Pp. In the follow passage, it says, "we cannot express the principle symbolically, partly because any symbolism in which p is ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

Should the notion of continuity, usually ascribed to Cauchy, be ascribed to Leibniz?

In his text, Deleuze and the History of Mathematics, Simon Duffy writes: Leibniz also thought the following to be a requirement to continuity: "When the difference between two instances in a ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

how do we assume there is infinity?

Definition of infinite: A set is infinite iff it is equivalent to one of its proper subsets. We know that our universe doesn't contain infinite number of elements, so how do we assume there is ...
7
votes
1answer
304 views

Why can almost all ordinary mathematics be formalized by sets?

there must exists a reason of why the idea 'collection' is so powerful that it can formalize nearly all mathematics. subquestion: is there any which can not be formalized by this perspective? if so, ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

Non-well-founded models viewing well-founded models as non-well-founded.

I'm currently thinking about how different models of set theory view each other. In particular I'm looking at how well-foundedness behaves between different models. So we have the Axiom of ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Is Paraconsistent Negation Really Negation?

Let a logic be paraconsistent, if $\phi \wedge \neg \phi \not \models \psi$ for some $\phi, \psi$ (where $\models$ is the logic's consequence relation). There are different ways to prevent a ...
14
votes
3answers
293 views

Mathematical Notation and its importance

You can see how mathematical notation evolved during the last centuries here. I think everyone here knows that a bad notation can change an otherwise elementar problem into a difficult problem. Just ...
1
vote
1answer
128 views

What concepts does math take for granted?

I suspect there must be some concepts that math takes for granted (there has to be a starting point). For example, after spending some time thinking about it yesterday, I wondered whether most of ...
5
votes
4answers
379 views

What is the “correct” reading of $\bot$?

I have some doubts about the "natural" interpretation of $\bot$ in Natural Deduction and sequent calculus. In Prawitz (1965) $\bot$ (falsehood or absurdity) is called a sentential constant [page 14] ...
7
votes
3answers
520 views

Are all mathematical statements true or false?

I would like to know whether it can be possible for a statement to be neither true nor false. Consider the age old paradox. "This statement is not true" Clearly it cannot be true. If it is false. ...
4
votes
3answers
314 views

What does “meaning” mean in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

In Principia Mathematica's Introduction, there is a definition for "incomplete" symbol: By an "incomplete" symbol we mean a symbol which is not supposed to have any meaning in isolation, but is ...
3
votes
3answers
159 views

Provocations on the existence of mathematical objects

The few Mathematics I have been studying so far is pure Mathematics. I happen to have some discussions with philosophers of Mathematics, but as they know I totally ignore their subject, we do not ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

What is the necessary condition for the process of “proceeding to the limit” in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

I read this from Introduction of the 1st edition of Principia Mathematica by Whitehead and Russell: Since the orders of functions are only defined step by step, there can be no process of ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Math Mindeset: Historical Learning vs Generality of Concepts

I started math four months ago with modules like measure theory and topology. It was unavoidable to notice how many concepts are more general than what I thought before. For example the ...
10
votes
2answers
200 views

When the mathematical community consider the inclusion of a new axiom?.

At first I was thinking about the axiom of choice, but let's keep it general. What motivates the inclusion of new axioms (or change the ones we already have in an already defined axiomatic theory?. It ...
-2
votes
1answer
95 views

How can human brain imagine the uncountable sets? (Paradox) [closed]

Assume first, that your brain consists from finite set of particles. Second, the electromagnetic interaction between them is quantized. Then how is it possible to imagine i.e. this uncountable set ...
4
votes
4answers
217 views

What is the difference between asserting “$\phi(a)$” and asserting “$\phi(a)$ is true” in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

The first edition of Principia Mathematica clearly distinguishes "Socrates is a man" and "'Socrates is a man' is true." Judging from the context, the distinction is neither a primitive idea nor a ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Does Graphical evicence count as / contribute to a Proof in Mathematics?

Several questions such as the following have an answer with pictures in it. How find this inequality $\max{\left(\min{\left(|a-b|,|b-c|,|c-d|,|d-e|,|e-a|\right)}\right)}$ How prove this inequality ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

What is the intuition behind $\Delta_1^0$ sets and $\Delta_1^1$ sets?

In the context of first-order arithmetic, if $\phi$ is a formula with only bounded quantifiers, then if you put existential quantifiers in front it becomes a $\Sigma_1^0$ formula according to the ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Philosophical side of MATH. knowing the path then walk it. [closed]

Can I find a book that gives me the purpose of theorems and definitions without going deep into proofs. It's just like knowing the path then walk it. That's will me the understanding reach the next ...
6
votes
1answer
174 views

How does Schröder explain the apparent oddity of ❋5.11.12.13.14 in 1st ed of Whitehead and Russell's PM?

The footnote refers to Schröder's work. I'd appreciate if someone can explain Schroder's insights and spare me some hard reading.
3
votes
3answers
276 views

How come mathematics is applicable to the real world?

Before the dam breaks, namely, the one that holds the waters of accusations, I want to specify that the question I'm asking is a "reference-request", and therefore does have an answer. Often in ...
4
votes
2answers
195 views

How to prove ❋4.86 in 1st ed of Whitehead and Russell's PM?

This one has a great degree of self-evidence. Paradoxically, I find it difficult to deduce it from primitive propositions. The book only hinted ❋4.21 and ❋4.22.
2
votes
1answer
157 views

What's with conditionals in mathematical logic?

Having a bit of difficulty understanding the conditional ($\rightarrow$) in mathematical logic. I read up on the already-existing questions and it did help me understand it better (the 'promise' ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the difference between ❋3.01 and ❋4.5 in Whitehead and Russell's PM?

This baby step from ❋3.01 to ❋4.5 is so tiny that I can barely see the difference. Please kindly explain why it is so important to distinguish the two. What is the philosophical importance of this ...
3
votes
0answers
68 views

Is there a link between level of abstraction and use of numbers?

One of my friend who stopped studying maths in high school told me once You study maths, can you help me fill my tax forms? In her mind, advancing in maths studies implied manipulating an ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

Does Whitehead and Russells' PM distinguish Proof from Demonstration?

I'm currently at Chapter 4, vol. 1 and 1st ed. I have to ask this question because the most important thing about this book is in its minute details. Thanks. Take *3.3 for example. Acording to this ...
2
votes
5answers
301 views

What is maths? “Maths is the study of ______”? [closed]

I can fill in the blank by just listing the different fields of maths but my goal is to define all of mathematics. An answer that I would've accepted a few years ago is "Maths is the study of ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Is it possible for us to know something to be true without actually proving it? [closed]

I know, proof is the most crucial part of mathematics, it makes all the things be rigorous and keeps mathematics from contradiction. In real life, there's things that we know to be true, for sure. ...
-4
votes
1answer
91 views

Is there an “end”? [closed]

This question may seem silly, but I nevertheless think that it is worth wondering over: is mathematics itself finite? As I understand, mathematics is a study of form and existence under constraints, ...
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Do second-order categoricity proofs require a background concept of set?

In his article "The Set-Theoretic Multiverse", Joel David Hamkins (as part of his reply to Donald Martin's argument that the set-theoretic universe is unique, found in "Multiple Universes of Sets and ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Are there intensional classes independent of the set universe?

The hereditarily finite sets can be regarded as purely extensional sets. Furthermore, they are quite independent of the underlying set universe (at least if we look at them from an extensional point ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

What is $M_x$ in Frege's Basic Law IIb?

Gottlob Frege's magnum opus, "The Basic Laws of Arithmetic" (Die Grundgesetze der Arithmetic in German) constitutes one of most impressive and meticulous attempts at developing a rigorous foundation ...
-1
votes
1answer
139 views

Why is the number Pi more popular than any other constant? [closed]

What is so special about the number $\pi$? There are many more interesting constants, such as e, $\gamma, \sqrt{2}$ or the catalanian number. $\pi$ has been calculated to more digits than any other ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

Abductive v.s. inductive reasoning

To me, abductive reasoning and inductive reasoning are very very similar, in that they both go from the specific to the general and they are distinguished only through the examples which are provided ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Can equinumerosity by defined in monadic second-order logic?

Two properties (or concepts) $F$ and $G$ are said to be equinumerous if they have the same cardinality, i.e. if they can be put in one-to-one correspondence with each other. This can be very easily ...
12
votes
1answer
355 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
231 views

Leibniz' Law and that good old riddle

There exists a Theory of Identity in mathematical logic. I've encountered it for the first time in Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell (1910). Quote: "This definition ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

General questions about theorems and laws

I have doubts about the construction of mathematical elements. There are proofs, that are proven using other theorems (corollaries) and/or axioms or definitions, such as Fermat's Last Theorem, the ...
-4
votes
2answers
243 views

Do irrational numbers really exist?

Isn't it possible that an irrational number is in reality the quotient of two infinitely long integers that even if there were repeating sections in it, it would take infinite digits to find the first ...
3
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2answers
137 views

Understanding: Axiom of Specification and Russell's Paradox: there is no universe?

Following Halmos's Naive Set Theory, Russell's Paradox emerges from using the axiom of specification (that for every set $A$ and property $\phi$ there exists a set $Y$ whose elements are those ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Explain/illustrate Goedel's theorems and possible implications to non-mathematicians

I am asked to give a talk about (a) mathematical practice, (b) axiomatization, (c) Gödel's theorems and (d) possible antimechanist arguments based on the incompleteness theorems (as mentioned in P ...
1
vote
1answer
157 views

Explain mathematical practice and axiomatization to non-mathematicians

I am asked to give a talk about (a) mathematical practice, (b) axiomatization, (c) Gödel's theorems and (d) possible antimechanist arguments based on the incompleteness theorems (as mentioned in P ...
4
votes
2answers
201 views

Why do imaginary numbers work (somewhat philosophical question)?

Asking as a layman, I've always puzzled over imaginary numbers and how they can be used to solve problems involving real numbers or quantities only (e.g. contour integration methods or Fourier ...