In this paper I propose a new approach to the foundation of mathematics: non-monotonic set theory. I present two completely different methods to develop set theories based on adaptive logics. For both theories there is a finitistic non-triviality proof and both theories contain (a subtle version of) the comprehension axiom schema. The first theory contains only a maximal selection of instances of the comprehension schema that do not lead to inconsistencies. The second allows for all the instances, also the (...) inconsistent ones, but restricts the conclusions one can draw from them in order to avoid triviality. The theories have enough expressive power to form a justification/explication for most of the established results of classical mathematics. They are therefore not limited by Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. This remarkable result is possible because of the non-recursive character of the final proofs of theorems of non-monotonic theories. I shall argue that, precisely because of the computational complexity of these final proofs, we cannot claim that non-monotonic theories are ideal foundations for mathematics. Nevertheless, thanks to their strength, first order language and the recursive dynamic (defeasible) proofs of theorems of the theory, the non-monotonic theories form (what I call) interesting pragmatic foundations. (shrink)
We investigate the form of mathematical structuralism that acknowledges the existence of structures and their distinctive structural elements. This form of structuralism has been subject to criticisms recently, and our view is that the problems raised are resolved by proper, mathematics-free theoretical foundations. Starting with an axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we identify a mathematical structure as an abstract object encoding the truths of a mathematical theory. From such foundations, we derive consequences that address the main questions (...) and issues that have arisen. Namely, elements of different structures are different. A structure and its elements ontologically depend on each other. There are no haecceities and each element of a structure must be discernible within the theory. These consequences are not developed piecemeal but rather follow from our definitions of basic structuralist concepts. (shrink)
Graduate-level historical study is ideal for students intending to specialize in the topic, as well as those who only need a general treatment. Part I discusses traditional and symbolic logic. Part II explores the foundations of mathematics, emphasizing Hilbert’s metamathematics. Part III focuses on the philosophy of mathematics. Each chapter has extensive supplementary notes; a detailed appendix charts modern developments.
Marcus Giaquinto tells the compelling story of one of the great intellectual adventures of the modern era: the attempt to find firm foundations for mathematics. From the late nineteenth century to the present day, this project has stimulated some of the most original and influential work in logic and philosophy.
Machine generated contents note: Part I. Historical Context - Gödel's Contributions and Accomplishments: 1. The impact of Gödel's incompleteness theorems on mathematics Angus Macintyre; 2. Logical hygiene, foundations, and abstractions: diversity among aspects and options Georg Kreisel; 3. The reception of Gödel's 1931 incompletabilty theorems by mathematicians, and some logicians, to the early 1960s Ivor Grattan-Guinness; 4. 'Dozent Gödel will not lecture' Karl Sigmund; 5. Gödel's thesis: an appreciation Juliette C. Kennedy; 6. Lieber Herr Bernays!, Lieber Herr Gödel! (...) Gödel on finitism, constructivity, and Hilbert's program Solomon Feferman; 7. Computation and intractability: echoes of Kurt Gödel Christos H. Papadimitriou; 8. From the entscheidungsproblem to the personal computer - and beyond B. Jack Copeland; 9. Gödel, Einstein, Mach, Gamow, and Lanczos: Gödel's remarkable excursion into cosmology Wolfgang Rindler; 10. Physical unknowables Karl Svozil; Part II. A Wider Vision - The Interdisciplinary, Philosophical, And Theological Implications of Gödel's Work: 11. Gödel and physics John D. Barrow; 12. Gödel, Thomas Aquinas, and the unknowability of God Denys A. Turner; 13. Gödel's mathematics of philosophy Piergiorgio Odifreddi; 14. Gödel's ontological proof and its variants Petr Hájek; 15. The Gödel theorem and human nature Hilary Putnam; 16. Gödel, the mind, and the laws of physics Roger Penrose; Part III. New Frontiers - Beyond Gödel's Work in Mathematics and Symbolic Logic: 17. Gödel's functional interpretation and its use in current mathematics Ulrich Kohlenbach; 18. My forty years on his shoulders Harvey M. Friedman; 19. My interaction with Kurt Gödel: the man and his work Paul J. Cohen; 20. The transfinite universe W. Hugh Woodin; 21. The Gödel phenomena in mathematics: a modern view Avi Wigderson. (shrink)
This edited collection bridges the foundations and practice of constructive mathematics and focuses on the contrast between the theoretical developments, which have been most useful for computer science (ie: constructive set and type theories), and more specific efforts on constructive analysis, algebra and topology. Aimed at academic logician, mathematicians, philosophers and computer scientists with contributions from leading researchers, it is up to date, highly topical and broad in scope.
This massive two-volume reference presents a comprehensive selection of the most important works on the foundations of mathematics. While the volumes include important forerunners like Berkeley, MacLaurin, and D'Alembert, as well as such followers as Hilbert and Bourbaki, their emphasis is on the mathematical and philosophical developments of the nineteenth century. Besides reproducing reliable English translations of classics works by Bolzano, Riemann, Hamilton, Dedekind, and Poincare, William Ewald also includes selections from Gauss, Cantor, Kronecker, and Zermelo, all translated (...) here for the first time. (shrink)
Bibliography of A. A. Fraenkel (p. ix-x)--Axiomatic set theory. Zur Frage der Unendlichkeitsschemata in der axiomatischen Mengenlehre, von P. Bernays.--On some problems involving inaccessible cardinals, by P. Erdös and A. Tarski.--Comparing the axioms of local and universal choice, by A. Lévy.--Frankel's addition to the axioms of Zermelo, by R. Mantague.--More on the axiom of extensionality, by D. Scott.--The problem of predicativity, by J. R. Shoenfield.--Mathematical logic. Grundgedanken einer typenfreien Logik, von W. Ackermann.--On the use of Hilbert's [epsilon]-operator in scientific theories, (...) by R. Carnap.--Basic verifiability in the combinatory theory of restricted generality, by H. B. Curry.--Uniqueness ordinals in constructive number classes, by H. Putnam.--On the construction of models, by A. Robinson.--Interpretation of mathematical theories in the first order predicate calculus, by T. Skolem.--The elementary character of two notions from general algebra, by R. Vaught.--Foundations of arithmetic and analysis. Axiomatic method and intuitionism, by A. Heyting.--On rank-decreasing functions, by G. Kurepa.--On non-standard models for number theory, by E. Mendelson.--Concerning the problem of axiomatizability of the field of real numbers in the weak second order logic, by A. Mostowski.--Non-standard models and independence of the induction axiom, by M. O. Rabin.--Sur les ensembles raréfiés de nombres naturels, par W. Sierpinski.--Philosophy of logic and mathematics. Remarks on the paradoxes of logic and set theory, by E. W. Beth.--Logique formalisée et raisonnement juridique, par R. Feys.--Im Umkreis der sogenannten Raumprobleme, von H. Freudenthal.--Process and existence in mathematics, by H. Wang. (shrink)
From Brouwer To Hilbert: The Debate on the Foundations of Mathematics in the 1920s offers the first comprehensive introduction to the most exciting period in the foundation of mathematics in the twentieth century. The 1920s witnessed the seminal foundational work of Hilbert and Bernays in proof theory, Brouwer's refinement of intuitionistic mathematics, and Weyl's predicativist approach to the foundations of analysis. This impressive collection makes available the first English translations of twenty-five central articles by these (...) important contributors and many others. The articles have been translated for the first time from Dutch, French, and German, and the volume is divided into four sections devoted to (1) Brouwer, (2) Weyl, (3) Bernays and Hilbert, and (4) the emergence of intuitionistic logic. Each section opens with an introduction which provides the necessary historical and technical context for understanding the articles. Although most contemporary work in this field takes its start from the groundbreaking contributions of these major figures, a good, scholarly introduction to the area was not available until now. Unique and accessible, From Brouwer To Hilbert will serve as an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of mathematics, and will also be an invaluable resource for philosophers, mathematicians, and interested non-specialists. (shrink)
Problem: There is currently a great deal of mysticism, uncritical hype, and blind adulation of imaginary mathematical and physical entities in popular culture. We seek to explore what a radical constructivist perspective on mathematical entities might entail, and to draw out the implications of this perspective for how we think about the nature of mathematical entities. Method: Conceptual analysis. Results: If we want to avoid the introduction of entities that are ill-defined and inaccessible to verification, then formal systems need to (...) avoid introduction of potential and actual infinities. If decidability and consistency are desired, keep formal systems finite. Infinity is a useful heuristic concept, but has no place in proof theory. Implications: We attempt to debunk many of the mysticisms and uncritical adulations of Gödelian arguments and to ground mathematical foundations in intersubjectively verifiable operations of limited observers. We hope that these insights will be useful to anyone trying to make sense of claims about the nature of formal systems. If we return to the notion of formal systems as concrete, finite systems, then we can be clear about the nature of computations that can be physically realized. In practical terms, the answer is not to proscribe notions of the infinite, but to recognize that these concepts have a different status with respect to their verifiability. We need to demarcate clearly the realm of free creation and imagination, where platonic entities are useful heuristic devices, and the realm of verification, testing, and proof, where infinities introduce ill-defined entities that create ambiguities and undecidable, ill-posed sets of propositions. Constructivist content: The paper attempts to extend the scope of radical constructivist perspective to mathematical systems, and to discuss the relationships between radical constructivism and other allied, yet distinct perspectives in the debate over the foundations of mathematics, such as psychological constructivism and mathematical constructivism. (shrink)
We discuss the foundations of constructive mathematics, including recursive mathematics and intuitionism, in relation to classical mathematics. There are connections with the foundations of physics, due to the way in which the different branches of mathematics reflect reality. Many different axioms and their interrelationship are discussed. We show that there is a fundamental problem in BISH (Bishop’s school of constructive mathematics) with regard to its current definition of ‘continuous function’. This problem is closely (...) related to the definition in BISH of ‘locally compact’. Possible approaches to this problem are discussed. Topology seems to be a key to understanding many issues. We offer several new simplifying axioms, which can form bridges between the various branches of constructive mathematics and classical mathematics (‘reuniting the antipodes’). We give a simplification of basic intuitionistic theory, especially with regard to so-called ‘bar induction’. We then plead for a limited number of axiomatic systems, which differentiate between the various branches of mathematics. Finally, in the appendix we offer BISH an elegant topological definition of ‘locally compact’, which unlike the current definition is equivalent to the usual classical and/or intuitionistic definition in classical and intuitionistic mathematics, respectively. (shrink)
The Foundations of Mathematics (Stewart and Tall) is a horse of a different color. The writing is excellent and there is actually some useful mathematics. I definitely like this book."--The Bulletin of Mathematics Books.
It is argued that geometrical intuition, as conceived in Kant, is still crucial to the epistemological foundations of mathematics. For this purpose, I have chosen to target one of the most sympathetic interpreters of Kant's philosophy of mathematics – Michael Friedman – because he has formulated the possible historical limitations of Kant's views most sharply. I claim that there are important insights in Kant's theory that have survived the developments of modern mathematics, and thus, that they (...) are not so intrinsically bound up with the logic and mathematics of Kant's time as Friedman will have it. These insights include the idea that mathematical knowledge relies on the manipulation of objects given in quasi-perceptual intuition, as Charles Parsons has argued, and that pure intuition is a source of knowledge of space itself that cannot be replaced by mere propositional knowledge. In particular, it is pointed out that it is the isomorphism between Kantian intuition and a spatial manifold that underlies both the epistemic intimacy of the most fundamental type of geometrical intuition as well as that of perceptual acquaintance. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to clarify the role of category theory in the foundations of mathematics. There is a good deal of confusion surrounding this issue. A standard philosophical strategy in the face of a situation of this kind is to draw various distinctions and in this way show that the confusion rests on divergent conceptions of what the foundations of mathematics ought to be. This is the strategy adopted in the present paper. It (...) is divided into 5 sections. We first show that already in the set theoretical framework, there are different dimensions to the expression foundations of. We then explore these dimensions more thoroughly. After a very short discussion of the links between these dimensions, we move to some of the arguments presented for and against category theory in the foundational landscape. We end up on a more speculative note by examining the relationships between category theory and set theory. (shrink)
The principle of set theory known as the Axiom of Choice (AC) has been hailed as “probably the most interesting and, in spite of its late appearance, the most discussed axiom of mathematics, second only to Euclid’s axiom of parallels which was introduced more than two thousand years ago”1 It has been employed in countless mathematical papers, a number of monographs have been exclusively devoted to it, and it has long played a prominently role in discussions on the (...) class='Hi'>foundations of mathematics. (shrink)
One recent trend in the philosophy of mathematics has been to approach the central epistemological and metaphysical issues concerning mathematics from the perspective of the applications of mathematics to describing the world, especially within the context of empirical science. A second area of activity is where philosophy of mathematics intersects with foundational issues in mathematics, including debates over the choice of set-theoretic axioms, and over whether category theory, for example, may provide an alternative foundation for (...)mathematics. My central claim is that these latter issues are of direct relevance to philosophical arguments connected to the applicability of mathematics. In particular, the possibility of there being distinct alternative foundations for mathematics blocks the standard argument from the indispensable role of mathematics in science to the existence of specific mathematical objects. (shrink)
The most prominent “schools” or programs for the foundations of mathematics that took shape in the first third of the 20th century emerged directly from, or in response to, developments in mathematics and logic in the latter part of the 19th century. The first of these programs, so-called logicism, had as its aim the reduction of mathematics to purely logical principles. In order to understand properly its achievements and resulting problems, it is necessary to review the (...) background from that previous period. (shrink)
In this paper I consider three mathematicians who allowed some role for menial processes in the foundations of their logical or mathematical theories. Boole regarded his Boolean algebra as a theory of mental acts; Cantor permitted processes of abstraction to play a role in his set theory; Brouwer took perception in time as a cornerstone of his intuitionist mathematics. Three appendices consider related topics.
Without a doubt, one of the main reasons Platonsim remains such a strong contender in the Foundations of Mathematics debate is because of the prima facie plausibility of the claim that objectivity needs objects. It seems like nothing else but the existence of external referents for the terms of our mathematical theories and calculations can guarantee the objectivity of our mathematical knowledge. The reason why Frege – and most Platonists ever since – could not adhere to the idea (...) that mathematical objects were mental, conventional or in any other way dependent on our faculties, will or other historical contingencies was that objects whose properties of existence depended on such contingencies could not warrant the objectivity required for scientific knowledge. This idea gained currency in the second half of the 19th Century and remains current for the most part today. However, it was not always like that. Objectivity, after all, has a history, and according to its historians (Daston 2001), the view that scientific knowledge need be objective is a fairly recent one. Up until mid-19th Century, science was not so much concerned with objectivity, as it was concerned with truth. Before the rise of the modern university and the professional scientist, science had the discovery of truths as its ultimate goal. In contrast, modern science now aims at the production and acquisition of objective knowledge. The diﬀerence might seem.. (shrink)
After giving a brief overview of the renewal of interest in logic and the foundations of mathematics in Göttingen in the period 1914-1921, I give a detailed presentation of the approach to the foundations of mathematics found in Behmann's doctoral dissertation of 1918, Die Antinomie der transfiniten Zahl und ihre Auflösung durch die Theorie von Russell und Whitehead. The dissertation was written under the guidance of David Hilbert and was primarily intended to give a clear exposition (...) of the solution to the antinomies as found in Principia Mathematica. In the process of explaining the theory of Principia, Behmann also presented an original approach to the foundations of mathematics which saw in sense perception of concrete individuals the Archimedean point for a secure foundation of mathematical knowledge. The last part of the paper points out an important numbers of connections between Behmann's work and Hilbert's foundational thought. (shrink)
After the 1930s, the research into the foundations of mathematics changed.None of its main directions (logicism, formalism and intuitionism) had any longer the pretension to be the only true mathematics.Usually, the determining factor in the change is considered to be Gödel?s work, while Heyting?s role is neglected.In contrast, in this paper I first describe how Heyting directly suggested the abandonment of the big foundational questions and the putting forward of a new kind of foundational research consisting in (...) the isolation of formal, intuitive, logical and platonistic elements within classical mathematics.Furthermore, I describe how Heyting indirectly influenced the abandon?ment of the old directions of foundational research by making out some lists of degrees of evidence that exist within intuitionism. (shrink)
During 1927-1931 Leśniewski published a series of articles (169 pages) entitled 'O podstawach matematyki' [On the Foundations of Mathematics] in the journal Przeglad Filozoficzny [Philosophical Review], and an abridged English translation of this series is presented here. With the exception of this work, all of Leśniewski's publications appearing after the first World War were written in German, and hence accessible to scholars and logicians in the West. This work, however, since written in Polish, has heretofore not been accessible (...) to most Western readers, and it is hoped that this translation will encourage both the study of Leśniewski's works as well as the further development of his theories. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is widely taken to be the starting point of the modern period of mathematics while David Hilbert was the last great mainstream mathematician to pursue important nineteenth cnetury ideas. This two-volume work provides an overview of this important era of mathematical research through a carefully chosen selection of articles. They provide an insight into the foundations of each of the main branches of mathematics--algebra, geometry, number theory, analysis, logic and set theory--with (...) narratives to show how they are linked. -/- Classic works by Bolzano, Riemann, Hamilton, Dedekind, and Poincare are reproduced in reliable translations and many selections from writers such as Gauss, Cantor, Kronecker and Zermelo are here translated for the first time. The collection is an invaluable source for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of the foundation of modern mathematics. (shrink)
The article looks briefly at Fefermans own foundations. Among many different senses of foundations, the one that mathematics needs in practice is a recognized body of truths adequate to organize definitions and proofs. Finding concise principles of this kind has been a huge achievement by mathematicians and logicians. We put ZFC and categorical foundations both into this context.
Purpose: The paper contributes to the naturalization of epistemology. It suggests tentative itineraries for the progression from elementary experiential situations to the abstraction of the concepts of unit, plurality, number, point, line, and plane. It also provides a discussion of the question of certainty in logical deduction and arithmetic. Approach: Whitehead’s description of three processes involved in criticizing mathematical thinking (1956) is used to show discrepancies between a traditional epistemological stance and the constructivist approach to knowing and communication. Practical implications: (...) Reducing basic abstract terms to experiential situations should make them easier to conceive for students. (shrink)
This pioneering book demonstrates the crucial importance of Wittgenstein's philosophy of mathematics to his philosophy as a whole. Marion traces the development of Wittgenstein's thinking in the context of the mathematical and philosophical work of the times, to make coherent sense of ideas that have too often been misunderstood because they have been presented in a disjointed and incomplete way. In particular, he illuminates the work of the neglected 'transitional period' between the Tractatus and the Investigations.
Translator's introduction -- Fundamental questions of geometry -- The decidability requirement -- The origin of the concept of number -- Implicit definition and the proper grounding of mathematics -- Rigid bodies in geometry -- Prelude to geometry : the essential ideas -- Physical and mathematical geometry -- Natural geometry -- The concept of the differential -- Reflections on the proper grounding of mathematics I -- Concepts and proofs in mathematics -- Dimension and space in mathematics -- (...) Reflections on the proper grounding of mathematics II -- The axiomatic method in modern mathematics. (shrink)
This_classic undergraduate text_elegantly acquaints students with the_fundamental concepts and methods of mathematics. In addition to introducing_many noteworthy historical figures_from the 18th through the mid-20th centuries, it examines_the axiomatic method, set theory, infinite sets, the linear continuum and the real number system, groups, intuitionism,_formal systems, mathematical logic, and other topics.
From his return to Cambridge in 1929 to his death in 1951, Wittgenstein influenced philosophy almost exclusively through teaching and discussion. These lecture notes indicate what he considered to be salient features of his thinking in this period of his life.
We discuss the differences between first-order set theory and second-order logic as a foundation for mathematics. We analyse these languages in terms of two levels of formalization. The analysis shows that if second-order logic is understood in its full semantics capable of characterizing categorically central mathematical concepts, it relies entirely on informal reasoning. On the other hand, if it is given a weak semantics, it loses its power in expressing concepts categorically. First-order set theory and second-order logic are not (...) radically different: the latter is a major fragment of the former. (shrink)
Since virtually every mathematical theory can be interpreted in set theory, the latter is a foundation for mathematics. Whether set theory, as opposed to any of its rivals, is the right foundation for mathematics depends on what a foundation is for. One purpose is philosophical, to provide the metaphysical basis for mathematics. Another is epistemic, to provide the basis of all mathematical knowledge. Another is to serve mathematics, by lending insight into the various fields. Another is (...) to provide an arena for exploring relations and interactions between mathematical fields, their relative strengths, etc. Given the different goals, there is little point to determining a single foundation for all of mathematics. (shrink)
A plurality of approaches to foundational aspects of mathematics is a fact of life. Two loci of this are discussed here, the classicism/constructivism controversy over standards of proof, and the plurality of universes of discourse for mathematics arising in set theory and in category theory, whose problematic relationship is discussed. The ﬁrst case illustrates the hypothesis that a suﬃciently rich subject matter may require a multiplicity of approaches. The second case, while in some respects special to mathematics, (...) raises issues of ontological multiplicity and relativity encountered in the natural sciences as well. (shrink)
Does science justify any part of mathematics and, if so, what part? These questions are related to the so-called indispensability arguments propounded, among others, by Quine and Putnam; moreover, both were led to accept significant portions of set theory on that basis. However, set theory rests on a strong form of Platonic realism which has been variously criticized as a foundation of mathematics and is at odds with scientific realism. Recent logical results show that it is possible to (...) directly formalize almost all, if not all, scientifically applicable mathematics in a formal system that is justified simply by Peano Arithmetic (via a proof-theoretical reduction). It is argued that this substantially vitiates the indispensability arguments. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction Juliette Kennedy and Roman Kossak; 2. Historical remarks on Suslin's problem Akihiro Kanamori; 3. The continuum hypothesis, the generic-multiverse of sets, and the [OMEGA] conjecture W. Hugh Woodin; 4. [omega]-Models of finite set theory Ali Enayat, James H. Schmerl and Albert Visser; 5. Tennenbaum's theorem for models of arithmetic Richard Kaye; 6. Hierarchies of subsystems of weak arithmetic Shahram Mohsenipour; 7. Diophantine correct open induction Sidney Raffer; 8. Tennenbaum's theorem and recursive reducts James H. (...) Schmerl; 9. History of constructivism in the 20th century A. S. Troelstra; 10. A very short history of ultrafinitism Rose M. Cherubin and Mirco A. Mannucci; 11. Sue Toledo's notes of her conversations with Gödel in 1972-1975 Sue Toledo; 12. Stanley Tennenbaum's Socrates Curtis Franks; 13. Tennenbaum's proof of the irrationality of [the square root of] 2́. (shrink)
Hans Hahn's long-neglected philosophy of mathematics is reconstructed here with an eye to his anticipation of the doctrine of logical pluralism. After establishing that Hahn pioneered a post-Tractarian conception of tautologies and attempted to overcome the traditional foundational dispute in mathematics, Hahn's and Carnap's work is briefly compared with Karl Menger's, and several significant agreements or differences between Hahn's and Carnap's work are specified and discussed.