It is a striking fact from reverse mathematics that almost all theorems of countable and countably representable mathematics are equivalent to just five subsystems of second order arithmetic. The standard view is that the significance of these equivalences lies in the set existence principles that are necessary and sufficient to prove those theorems. In this article I analyse the role of set existence principles in reverse mathematics, and argue that they are best understood as closure conditions on the powerset of (...) the natural numbers. (shrink)
Alfred Tarski was one of the greatest logicians of the twentieth century. His influence comes not merely through his own work but from the legion of students who pursued his projects, both in Poland and Berkeley. This chapter focuses on three key areas of Tarski's research, beginning with his groundbreaking studies of the concept of truth. Tarski's work led to the creation of the area of mathematical logic known as model theory and prefigured semantic approaches in the philosophy of language (...) and philosophical logic, such as Kripke's possible worlds semantics for modal logic. We also examine the paradoxical decomposition of the sphere known as the Banach–Tarski paradox. Finally we examine Tarski's work on decidable and undecidable theories, which he carried out in collaboration with students such as Mostowski, Presburger, Robinson and others. (shrink)
Reverse mathematics studies which subsystems of second order arithmetic are equivalent to key theorems of ordinary, non-set-theoretic mathematics. The main philosophical application of reverse mathematics proposed thus far is foundational analysis, which explores the limits of different foundations for mathematics in a formally precise manner. This paper gives a detailed account of the motivations and methodology of foundational analysis, which have heretofore been largely left implicit in the practice. It then shows how this account can be fruitfully applied in the (...) evaluation of major foundational approaches by a careful examination of two case studies: a partial realization of Hilbert’s program due to Simpson , and predicativism in the extended form due to Feferman and Schütte. -/- Shore [2010, 2013] proposes that equivalences in reverse mathematics be proved in the same way as inequivalences, namely by considering only omega-models of the systems in question. Shore refers to this approach as computational reverse mathematics. This paper shows that despite some attractive features, computational reverse mathematics is inappropriate for foundational analysis, for two major reasons. Firstly, the computable entailment relation employed in computational reverse mathematics does not preserve justification for the foundational programs above. Secondly, computable entailment is a Pi-1-1 complete relation, and hence employing it commits one to theoretical resources which outstrip those available within any foundational approach that is proof-theoretically weaker than Pi-1-1-CA0. (shrink)
Review of John Stillwell, Reverse Mathematics: Proofs from the Inside Out. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2018, pp. 200. ISBN 978-0-69-117717-5 (hbk), 978-0-69-119641-1 (pbk), 978-1-40-088903-7 (e-book).
The present volume is an introduction to the use of tools from computability theory and reverse mathematics to study combinatorial principles, in particular Ramsey's theorem and special cases such as Ramsey's theorem for pairs. It would serve as an excellent textbook for graduate students who have completed a course on computability theory.