In Stefania Centrone, Deborah Kant & Deniz Sarikaya (eds.), Reflections on the Foundations of Mathematics. Springer Verlag. pp. 3-26 (2019)

Džamonja Mirna
University of East Anglia
Deborah Kant
Universität Konstanz
The status of independent statements is the main problem in the philosophy of set theory. We address this problem by presenting the perspective of a practising set theorist. We thus give an authentic insight in the current state of thinking in set-theoretic practice, which is to a large extent determined by independence results. During several meetings, the second author asked the first author about the development of forcing, the use of new axioms and set-theoretic intuition on independence. Parts of these conversations are directly presented in this article. They are supplemented by important mathematical results as well as discussion sections. Finally, we present three hypotheses about set-theoretic practice: First, that most set theorists were surprised by the introduction of the forcing method. Second, that most set theorists think that forcing is a natural part of contemporary set theory. Third, that most set theorists prefer an answer to a problem with the help of a new axiom of lowest possible consistency strength, and that for most set theorists, a difference in consistency strength weighs much more than the difference between Forcing Axiom and Large Cardinal Axiom.
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