Questions involving philosophy of mathematics

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3
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3answers
333 views

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 pretty sure about ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Allowed probabilities under frequentism

Am I right to assume that under the frequentist interpretation of probability,* the set of allowed probabilities isn't $$\left[0,1\right],$$ but rather is ...
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
votes
1answer
161 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
votes
1answer
88 views

Does math have to be learned linearly?

I am asking because often times one doesn't know where to start in math. "Just learn what you need" is very vague and unspecific ... for example, assume I'm a beginner at Algebra and was considering ...
2
votes
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 ...
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' ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Formulation VS Interpretation

I'm reading a book on Mathematical Physics and at some point the author says that we must distinguish between a "formulation" and an "interpretation" of a theory, although it's not easy to point what ...
0
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1answer
56 views

particular property and completeness?

I was puzzeling with the almost standard definition of completeness: In mathematical logic and metalogic, a formal system is called complete with respect to a particular property if every formula ...
10
votes
0answers
301 views

What Do Mathematicians Do?

The American Mathematical Society maintains a web page entitled "What Do Mathematicians Do?" which references two interesting surveys. (One of the reference links is broken, but this one works: What ...
5
votes
0answers
25 views

Codifying ways to think and write about imprecise ideas?

This question will not be about affine spaces; rather those are mentioned here as one of many examples. A vector space has an underlying set and a field of scalars and an operation of linear ...
5
votes
0answers
123 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
0answers
307 views

Structuralist slogans

I am afraid to make a bad impression by misusing this forum but I am looking for as-many-as-possible mathematically inspired formulations and references to one (sometimes vague) idea. The idea is ...
4
votes
0answers
212 views

How much are mathematics driven by applications?

At some point this provocative question came to my mind: Are mathematics mostly driven by applications? I am taking into account some of the comments made to my original question so I want to ...
4
votes
0answers
72 views

Constructivism implied or not

Let me take up some details in the answer of another question. Submitted by user hyg17: Heading: All real numbers can be expressed as a limit of rational numbers? The question was: Let $C$ be a set ...
3
votes
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 ...
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 ...
3
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0answers
39 views

looking for good book on the history of formalism

In 1868 Beltrami published a paper ""Saggio di interpretazione della geometria non-euclidea" that seems to have led to the formalist philosophy of mathematics. But what was written exactly what were ...
3
votes
0answers
112 views

Can one define informational content of a mathematical expression?

At least in physicist's thinking, information, vaguely, is something that allows one to select a subset from a set. Say, a system can be in states A and B, we have done a measurement on it ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Understanding how to vs. Knowing how to do something in Math?

So here's my question, in math, there are several places in which understanding why something works helps for a deeper understanding in mathematics. However, there are also other ways in which knowing ...
3
votes
0answers
183 views

Does the concept of predicativity need to be formalized to go beyond Feferman-Schutte ordinal?

Feferman-Schütte ordinal is sometimes said to be: ....first impredicative ordinal, though this is controversial, partly because there is no generally accepted precise definition of "predicative". ...
3
votes
0answers
371 views

Mac Lane and Eilenberg's motivations for category theory

I'm looking to understand the conceptual process that brought Eilenberg and Mac Lane in developing the basic concepts of category theory. I quote Mac Lane's book "Category theory for working ...
3
votes
0answers
206 views

Finitistic objections to the current mathematical model

I recently read this pdf: Warning Signs of a Possible Collapse of Contemporary Mathematics, and I'm having some trouble understanding the issues it raises. The author says that the consistency of ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Why are divergent Fourier series all so 'HARD'?

I'm not sure if this question is appropriate or even making sense, but I still feel curious: why are every example of divergent Fourier series SO COMPLICATED? It usually takes pages to construct and ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
235 views

What is the “shape” of numbers in Number Theory?

While reading popular science book Fermat's Last Theorem I was amazed to find out that in number theory interesting things happen even at very large scales. For instance the Graham's number was named ...
1
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0answers
40 views

Trying to understand Hintikka's logic of Knowledge and belief

I try to understand Hintikka's logic of knowledge and belief but am a bit stumped by it. I study " Knowledge and belief , an introduction to the Logic of the two Notions", (Kings College ...
1
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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 ...
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0answers
67 views

If most of the mathematics needs a context to be not subject of interpretation, what part of mathematics doesn't need a context at all, if any?

In the past, I have asked this question here: Is mathematics the only language that is not subject of interpretation? And one of the answer started with: First, mathematics notation is subject ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Theoretical question of physical analogies to different O(f(x)) based characteristics of algoritms

I want to better understand the following concepts: "n!", "e^n". I.e. what is the physical analogy of the functions at the bottom of the message. F.ex. for the "n^a" and "log a x" where a equals to ...
0
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0answers
39 views

The Major Weaknesses in Ramified Type Theory

I am reviewing a paper on the major weaknesses of Ramified Type Theory in predicative second-order arithmetic. These four are listed as "weaknesses." But, I have my doubts. It seems at least that 3) ...
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 ...
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 ...
0
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0answers
105 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?