Questions involving philosophy of mathematics

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2
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2answers
124 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
35 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
vote
1answer
47 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
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
175 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.
4
votes
3answers
260 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
160 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
88 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
47 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 ...
248
votes
34answers
24k views

Do complex numbers really exist?

Complex numbers involve the square root of negative one, and most non-mathematicians find it hard to accept that such a number is meaningful. In contrast, they feel that real numbers have an obvious ...
2
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
892 views

What would be the immediate implications of a formula for prime numbers?

What would be the immediate implications for Math (or sciences as a general) if someone developed a formula capable of generating every prime number progressively and perfectly, also able to prove (or ...
110
votes
23answers
9k views

Is an SD card a fair coin… to me?

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 ...
3
votes
4answers
128 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 ...
3
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0answers
44 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
391 views

How much math does one need to know to do philosophy of math?

I'm looking for advice from mathematicians who also study philosophy of math (PoM). Due to interest I'd like to study PoM as a hobby, but I'm worried if I don't understand math well enough from a pure ...
3
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
77 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
43 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
579 views

How do mathematicians think about the existence of numbers?

Question: How do mathematicians think about the existence of numbers? And how did Newton, Euler, and other famous mathematicians thought about this concept? I know that existence of numbers is a ...
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
63 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(). ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

How to interprete ✳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
votes
0answers
103 views

Does it become more likely that ZFC is consistent, the more time we explore it without finding a contradiction?

Intuitively, the more time we spend exploring ZFC without finding a contradiction, the higher the (subjective) probability that ZFC is consistent. Is this intuition sound? If not, why not?
1
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0answers
59 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 ...
0
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0answers
56 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
votes
3answers
189 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 ...
10
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6answers
258 views

Axiomatic Foundations

I am trying to deduce how mathematicians decide on what axioms to use and why not other axioms, I mean surely there is an infinite amount of available axioms. What I am trying to get at is surely if ...
2
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3answers
102 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 ...
0
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0answers
28 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
195 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
219 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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4answers
133 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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4answers
2k views

Is McGee's counterexample to Modus Ponens accepted by the mathematical community?

In the mid 1980's Vann McGee proposed a counterexample to Modus Ponens: (a) If a Republicans will win the election, then if Reagan will not win, Anderson will win. (b) A Republican will win the ...
0
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2answers
83 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
72 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
votes
5answers
329 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
845 views

What's the best way to measure mathematical ability?

Very soft question I admit, but it's something that's been bothering me for a while. I've been thinking that being self taught has the problem of accreditation. You can't evaluate a mathematician ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
10
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2answers
167 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
53 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
39 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
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
40
votes
13answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as proof by example (not counter example)

Is there such a logical thing as proof by example? I know many times when I am working with algebraic manipulations, I do quick tests to see if I remembered the formula right. This works and is ...
0
votes
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) ...
7
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
126 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
103 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 ...
5
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6answers
1k views

How to interpret material conditional and explain it to freshmen?

After studying mathematics for some time, I am still confused. The material conditional “$\rightarrow$” is a logical connective in classical logic. In mathematical texts one often encounters the ...
1
vote
3answers
117 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 ...