The previous Part I of the paper discusses the option of the Gödel incompleteness statement (1931: whether “Satz VI” or “Satz X”) to be an axiom due to the pair of the axiom of induction in arithmetic and the axiom of infinity in set theory after interpreting them as logical negations to each other. The present Part II considers the previous Gödel’s paper (1930) (and more precisely, the negation of “Satz VII”, or “the completeness theorem”) as a necessary condition for (...) granting the Gödel incompleteness statement to be a theorem just as the statement itself, to be an axiom. Then, the “completeness paper” can be interpreted as relevant to Hilbert mathematics, according to which mathematics and reality as well as arithmetic and set theory are rather entangled or complementary rather than mathematics to obey reality able only to create models of the latter. According to that, both papers (1930; 1931) can be seen as advocating Russell’s logicism or the intensional propositional logic versus both extensional arithmetic and set theory. Reconstructing history of philosophy, Aristotle’s logic and doctrine can be opposed to those of Plato or the pre-Socratic schools as establishing ontology or intensionality versus extensionality. Husserl’s phenomenology can be analogically realized including and particularly as philosophy of mathematics. One can identify propositional logic and set theory by virtue of Gödel’s completeness theorem (1930: “Satz VII”) and even both and arithmetic in the sense of the “compactness theorem” (1930: “Satz X”) therefore opposing the latter to the “incompleteness paper” (1931). An approach identifying homomorphically propositional logic and set theory as the same structure of Boolean algebra, and arithmetic as the “half” of it in a rigorous construction involving information and its unit of a bit. Propositional logic and set theory are correspondingly identified as the shared zero-order logic of the class of all first-order logics and the class at issue correspondingly. Then, quantum mechanics does not need any quantum logics, but only the relation of propositional logic, set theory, arithmetic, and information: rather a change of the attitude into more mathematical, philosophical, and speculative than physical, empirical and experimental. Hilbert’s epsilon calculus can be situated in the same framework of the relation of propositional logic and the class of all mathematical theories. The horizon of Part III investigating Hilbert mathematics (i.e. according to the Pythagorean viewpoint about the world as mathematical) versus Gödel mathematics (i.e. the usual understanding of mathematics as all mathematical models of the world external to it) is outlined. (shrink)
EXPANDED EDITION (FREE EBOOK): -/- INFINITY IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS...Infinity is commonly assumed to be a logical concept, reliable for conducting mathematics, describing the Universe, and understanding the divine. Most of us are educated to take for granted that there exist infinite sets of numbers, that lines contain an infinite number of points, that space is infinite in expanse, that time has an infinite succession of events, that possibilities are infinite in quantity, and over half of the world’s population (...) believes in a divine Creator infinite in knowledge, power, and benevolence. -/- According to this treatise, such assumptions are mistaken. In reality, to be is to be finite. The implications of this assessment are profound: the Universe and even God must necessarily be finite. -/- The author makes a compelling case against infinity, refuting its most prominent advocates. Any defense of the infinite will find it challenging to answer the arguments laid out in this book. But regardless of the reader’s position, FOREVER FINITE offers plenty of thought-provoking material for anyone interested in the subject of infinity from the perspectives of philosophy, mathematics, science, and theology. -/- This electronic edition of FOREVER FINITE is offered free online for all and is expanded with content that does not appear in the published edition due to print production page limitations. From the Introduction to the Conclusion, Chapters 1–27 are identical to the published print edition, including the page numbering for the chapters. This electronic edition adds an appendix and associated content—specifically, updates to the book’s back matter (68 new endnotes, 17 new bibliographic references, 3 new figure credits, 14 new glossary terms) and front matter (an updated table of contents and this preface note). (shrink)
In 'Forever Finite: The Case Against Infinity' (Rond Books, 2023), the author argues that, despite its cultural popularity, infinity is not a logical concept and consequently cannot be a property of anything that exists in the real world. This article summarizes the main points in 'Forever Finite', including its overview of what debunking infinity entails for conceptual thought in philosophy, mathematics, science, cosmology, and theology.
This book is dedicated to V.A. Yankov’s seminal contributions to the theory of propositional logics. His papers, published in the 1960s, are highly cited even today. The Yankov characteristic formulas have become a very useful tool in propositional, modal and algebraic logic. The papers contributed to this book provide the new results on different generalizations and applications of characteristic formulas in propositional, modal and algebraic logics. In particular, an exposition of Yankov’s results and their applications in algebraic logic, the theory (...) of admissible rules and refutation systems is included in the book. In addition, the reader can find the studies on splitting and join-splitting in intermediate propositional logics that are based on Yankov-type formulas which are closely related to canonical formulas, and the study of properties of predicate extensions of non-classical propositional logics. The book also contains an exposition of Yankov’s revolutionary approach to constructive proof theory. The editors also include Yankov’s contributions to history and philosophy of mathematics and foundations of mathematics, as well as an examination of his original interpretation of history of Greek philosophy and mathematics. (shrink)
The Hilbert program was actually a specific approach for proving consistency, a kind of constructive model theory. Quantifiers were supposed to be replaced by ε-terms. εxA(x) was supposed to denote a witness to ∃xA(x), or something arbitrary if there is none. The Hilbertians claimed that in any proof in a number-theoretic system S, each ε-term can be replaced by a numeral, making each line provable and true. This implies that S must not only be consistent, but also 1-consistent. Here we (...) show that if the result is supposed to be provable within S, a statement about all Pi-0-2 statements that subsumes itself within its own scope must be provable, yielding a contradiction. The result resembles Gödel's but arises naturally out of the Hilbert program itself. (shrink)
This paper argues that, insofar as we doubt the bivalence of the Continuum Hypothesis or the truth of the Axiom of Choice, we should also doubt the consistency of third-order arithmetic, both the classical and intuitionistic versions. -/- Underlying this argument is the following philosophical view. Mathematical belief springs from certain intuitions, each of which can be either accepted or doubted in its entirety, but not half-accepted. Therefore, our beliefs about reality, bivalence, choice and consistency should all be aligned.
We investigate which part of Brouwer’s Intuitionistic Mathematics is finitistically justifiable or guaranteed in Hilbert’s Finitism, in the same way as similar investigations on Classical Mathematics already done quite extensively in proof theory and reverse mathematics. While we already knew a contrast from the classical situation concerning the continuity principle, more contrasts turn out: we show that several principles are finitistically justifiable or guaranteed which are classically not. Among them are: fan theorem for decidable fans but arbitrary bars; continuity principle (...) and the axiom of choice both for arbitrary formulae; and $\Sigma _2$ induction and dependent choice. We also show that Markov’s principle MP does not change this situation; that neither does lesser limited principle of omniscience LLPO ; but that limited principle of omniscience LPO makes the situation completely classical. (shrink)
The paper examines Yankov’s contribution to the history of mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics. It concerns the public communication of Markov’s critical attitude towards Brouwer’s intuitionistic mathematics from the point of view of his constructive mathematics and the commentary on A.S. Esenin-Vol’pin program of ultra-intuitionistic foundations of mathematics.
An Introduction to Proof Theory provides an accessible introduction to the theory of proofs, with details of proofs worked out and examples and exercises to aid the reader's understanding. It also serves as a companion to reading the original pathbreaking articles by Gerhard Gentzen. The first half covers topics in structural proof theory, including the Gödel-Gentzen translation of classical into intuitionistic logic, natural deduction and the normalization theorems, the sequent calculus, including cut-elimination and mid-sequent theorems, and various applications of these (...) results. The second half examines ordinal proof theory, specifically Gentzen's consistency proof for first-order Peano Arithmetic. The theory of ordinal notations and other elements of ordinal theory are developed from scratch, and no knowledge of set theory is presumed. The proof methods needed to establish proof-theoretic results, especially proof by induction, are introduced in stages throughout the text. Mancosu, Galvan, and Zach's introduction will provide a solid foundation for those looking to understand this central area of mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics. (shrink)
This book publishes the previously unpublished Wittgenstein-Skinner Archive held in Trinity College Cambridge Wren Library. The principal Editor is Arthur Gibson, joined by the Editor Niamh O'Mahony in the editing project. The manuscripts were transcribed by Arthur Gibson, checked and edited by Niamh O'Mahony and Arthur Gibson, with additional assistance from Kelsey Gibson. The Chapters that reproduce the Archive, including the Preface, and Part I (chapters 1 and 2) are authored by Arthur Gibson. Arthur Gibson and Niamh O'Mahony jointly edited (...) the Appendices and variously authored parts of the Appendices' introductions and notes. The Foreword was contributed by Professor Brian McGuinness. (shrink)
Ordinarily, the order in which some objects are attached to a scale does not affect the total weight measured by the scale. This principle is shown to fail in certain cases involving infinitely many objects. In these cases, we can produce any desired reading of the scale merely by changing the order in which a fixed collection of objects are attached to the scale. This puzzling phenomenon brings out the metaphysical significance of a theorem about infinite series that is well (...) known by mathematicians but has so far eluded philosophical scrutiny. (shrink)
This article is about the ontological dispute between finitists, who claim that only finitely many numbers exist, and infinitists, who claim that infinitely many numbers exist. Van Bendegem set out to solve the 'general problem' for finitism: how can one recast finite fragments of classical mathematics in finitist terms? To solve this problem Van Bendegem comes up with a new brand of finitism, namely so-called 'apophatic finitism'. In this article it will be argued that apophatic finitism is unable to represent (...) the negative ontological commitments of infinitism or, in other words, that which does not exist according to infinitism. However, there is a brand of infinitism, so-called 'apophatic infinitism', that is able to represent both the positive and the negative ontological commitments of apophatic finitism. Unfortunately, apophatic finitism cannot adopt that way without losing the ability to represent the positive ontological commitments of infinitism. (shrink)
On pense généralement que l'impossibilité, l'incomplétdulité, la paracohérence, l'indécidabilité, le hasard, la calcul, le paradoxe, l'incertitude et les limites de la raison sont des questions scientifiques physiques ou mathématiques disparates ayant peu ou rien dans terrain d'entente. Je suggère qu'ils sont en grande partie des problèmes philosophiques standard (c.-à-d., jeux de langue) qui ont été la plupart du temps résolus par Wittgenstein plus de 80 ans. Je fournis un bref résumé de quelques-unes des principales conclusions de deux des plus éminents (...) étudiants du comportement des temps modernes, Ludwig Wittgenstein et John Searle, sur la structure logique de l'intentionnalité (esprit, langue, comportement), en prenant comme point de départ La découverte fondamentale de Wittgenstein, à savoir que tous les problèmes véritablement « philosophiques » sont les mêmes, les confusions sur la façon d'utiliser la langue dans un contexte particulier, et donc toutes les solutions sont les mêmes— en regardant comment la langue peut être utilisée dans le contexte en cause afin que sa vérité (Conditions de satisfaction ou COS) sont claires. Le problème fondamental est que l'on peut dire n'importe quoi, mais on ne peut pas signifier (état clair COS pour) toute déclaration arbitraire et le sens n'est possible que dans un contexte très spécifique. Je dissé que quelques écrits de quelques-uns des principaux commentateurs sur ces questions d'un point de vue wittgensteinien dans le cadre de la perspective moderne des deux systèmes de pensée (popularisé comme «penser vite, penser lentement»), en utilisant une nouvelle table de intentionnalité et la nomenclature de nouveaux systèmes doubles. Je montre qu'il s'agit d'un puissant heuristique pour décrire la vraie nature de ces questions scientifiques, physiques ou mathématiques putatives qui sont vraiment mieux abordés comme des problèmes philosophiques standard de la façon dont la langue doit être utilisée (jeux de langue dans Wittgenstein terminologie). (shrink)
Gentzen's three consistency proofs for elementary number theory have a common aim that originates from Hilbert's Program, namely, the aim to justify the application of classical reasoning to quantified propositions in elementary number theory. In addition to this common aim, Gentzen gave a “finitist” interpretation to every number-theoretic proposition with his 1935 and 1936 consistency proofs. In the present paper, we investigate the relationship of this interpretation with intuitionism in terms of the debate between the Hilbert School and the Brouwer (...) School over the significance of consistency proofs. First, we argue that the interpretation had the role of responding to a Brouwer-style objection against the significance of consistency proofs. Second, we propose a way of understanding Gentzen's response to this objection from an intuitionist perspective. (shrink)
Halbach has argued that Tarski biconditionals are not ontologically conservative over classical logic, but his argument is undermined by the fact that he cannot include a theory of arithmetic, which functions as a theory of syntax. This article is an improvement on Halbach's argument. By adding the Tarski biconditionals to inclusive negative free logic and the universal closure of minimal arithmetic, which is by itself an ontologically neutral combination, one can prove that at least one thing exists. The result can (...) then be strengthened to the conclusion that infinitely many things exist. Those things are not just all Gödel codes of sentences but rather all natural numbers. Against this background inclusive negative free logic collapses into noninclusive free logic, which collapses into classical logic. The consequences for ontological deflationism with respect to truth are discussed. (shrink)
Peano arithmetic cannot serve as the ground of mathematics for it is inconsistent to infinity, and infinity is necessary for its foundation. Though Peano arithmetic cannot be complemented by any axiom of infinity, there exists at least one (logical) axiomatics consistent to infinity. That is nothing else than a new reading at issue and comparative interpretation of Gödel’s papers (1930; 1931) meant here. Peano arithmetic admits anyway generalizations consistent to infinity and thus to some addable axiom(s) of infinity. The most (...) utilized example of those generalizations is the complex Hilbert space. Any generalization of Peano arithmetic consistent to infinity, e.g. the complex Hilbert space, can serve as a foundation for mathematics to found itself and by itself. (shrink)
At the most general level, the concept of finitism is typically characterized by saying that finitistic mathematics is that part of mathematics which does not appeal to completed infinite totalities and is endowed with some epistemological property that makes it secure or privileged. This paper argues that this characterization can in fact be sharpened in various ways, giving rise to different conceptions of finitism. The paper investigates these conceptions and shows that they sanction different portions of mathematics as finitistic.
Detlefsen (1986) reads Hilbert's program as a sophisticated defense of instrumentalism, but Feferman (1998) has it that Hilbert's program leaves significant ontological questions unanswered. One such question is of the reference of individual number terms. Hilbert's use of admittedly "meaningless" signs for numbers and formulae appears to impair his ability to establish the reference of mathematical terms and the content of mathematical propositions (Weyl (1949); Kitcher (1976)). The paper traces the history and context of Hilbert's reasoning about signs, which illuminates (...) Hilbert's account of mathematical objectivity, axiomatics, idealization, and consistency. (shrink)
Quantum computer is considered as a generalization of Turing machine. The bits are substituted by qubits. In turn, a "qubit" is the generalization of "bit" referring to infinite sets or series. It extends the consept of calculation from finite processes and algorithms to infinite ones, impossible as to any Turing machines (such as our computers). However, the concept of quantum computer mets all paradoxes of infinity such as Gödel's incompletness theorems (1931), etc. A philosophical reflection on how quantum computer might (...) implement the idea of "infinite calculation" is the main subject. (shrink)
Greg Frost-Arnold’s book is a highly elegant edition and commentary of Carnap’s notes, claiming just as much as he is warranted on the basis of the manuscript and other relevant texts, and formulating his scholarly assumptions very carefully. Along the way he tries to unify the three historiographical strategies: narrative, argumentative and micro-historical.
Context: Strict finitism is usually not taken seriously as a possible view on what mathematics is and how it functions. This is due mainly to unfamiliarity with the topic. Problem: First, it is necessary to present a “decent” history of strict finitism (which is now lacking) and, secondly, to show that common counterarguments against strict finitism can be properly addressed and refuted. Method: For the historical part, the historical material is situated in a broader context, and for the argumentative part, (...) an evaluation of arguments and counterarguments is presented. Results: The main result is that strict finitism is indeed a viable option, next to other constructive approaches, in (the foundations of) mathematics. Implications: Arguing for strict finitism is more complex than is usually thought. For future research, strict finitist mathematics itself needs to be written out in more detail to increase its credibility. In as far as strict finitism is a viable option, it will change our views on such “classics” as the platonist-constructivist discussion, the discovery-construction debate and the mysterious applicability problem (why is mathematics so successful in its applications?). Constructivist content: Strict finitism starts from the idea that counting is an act of labeling, hence the mathematician is an active subject right from the start. It differs from other constructivist views in that the finite limitations of the human subject are taken into account. (shrink)
There are some puzzles about G¨ odel’s published and unpublished remarks concerning finitism that have led some commentators to believe that his conception of it was unstable, that he oscillated back and forth between different accounts of it. I want to discuss these puzzles and argue that, on the contrary, G¨ odel’s writings represent a smooth evolution, with just one rather small double-reversal, of his view of finitism. He used the term “finit” (in German) or “finitary” or “finitistic” primarily to (...) refer to Hilbert’s conception of finitary mathematics. On two occasions (only, as far as I know), the lecture notes for his lecture at Zilsel’s [G¨ odel, 1938a] and the lecture notes for a lecture at Yale [G¨ odel, *1941], he used it in a way that he knew—in the second case, explicitly—went beyond what Hilbert meant. Early in his career, he believed that finitism (in Hilbert’s sense) is openended, in the sense that no correct formal system can be known to formalize all finitist proofs and, in particular, all possible finitist proofs of consistency of first-order number theory, P A; but starting in the Dialectica paper.. (shrink)
In biological terms, human consciousness appears as a feature associated with the func- tioning of the human brain. The corresponding activities of the neural network occur strictly in accord with physical laws; however, this fact does not necessarily imply that there can be a comprehensive scientific theory of conscious- ness, despite all the progress in neurobiology, neuropsychology and neurocomputation. Pre- dictions of the extent to which such a theory may become possible vary widely in the scien- tific community. There are (...) basic reasons - not only practical but also epistemological - why the brain-mind relation may never be fully “decod- able” by general finite procedures. In partic- ular self-referential features of consciousness, such as self-representations involved in strate- gic thought and dispositions, may not be resolv- able in all their essential aspects by brain analy- sis. Assuming that such limitations exist, objec- tive analysis by the methods of natural science cannot, in principle, fully encompass subjective, mental experience. (shrink)
Let be the fragment of elementary Peano arithmetic in which induction is restricted to -formulas. More than three decades ago, Parsons showed that the provably total functions of are exactly the primitive recursive functions. In this paper, we observe that Parsons' result is a consequence of Herbrand's theorem concerning the -consequences of universal theories. We give a self-contained proof requiring only basic knowledge of mathematical logic.
After a brief flirtation with logicism around 1917, David Hilbertproposed his own program in the foundations of mathematics in 1920 and developed it, in concert with collaborators such as Paul Bernays andWilhelm Ackermann, throughout the 1920s. The two technical pillars of the project were the development of axiomatic systems for everstronger and more comprehensive areas of mathematics, and finitisticproofs of consistency of these systems. Early advances in these areaswere made by Hilbert (and Bernays) in a series of lecture courses atthe (...) University of Göttingen between 1917 and 1923, and notably in Ackermann's dissertation of 1924. The main innovation was theinvention of the -calculus, on which Hilbert's axiom systemswere based, and the development of the -substitution methodas a basis for consistency proofs. The paper traces the developmentof the ``simultaneous development of logic and mathematics'' throughthe -notation and provides an analysis of Ackermann'sconsistency proofs for primitive recursive arithmetic and for thefirst comprehensive mathematical system, the latter using thesubstitution method. It is striking that these proofs use transfiniteinduction not dissimilar to that used in Gentzen's later consistencyproof as well as non-primitive recursive definitions, and that thesemethods were accepted as finitistic at the time. (shrink)
More than half of Wittgenstein’s writings from the years between his return to philosophy in 1929 and the completion of Part I of the Philosophical Investigations in 1945 are about issues in the philosophy of mathematics. In 1929 he wrote that “There is no religious denomination in which so much sin has been committed through the misuse of metaphorical expressions as in mathematics”. But what sins, and which misuses, was he criticizing in his writings on the philosophy of mathematics? Wittgenstein, (...) Finitism and the Foundations of Mathematics offers a fresh and illuminating way of approaching these basic questions about how to read Wittgenstein’s remarks on mathematics. (shrink)
It is a commonplace of constructivist thought that a claim that an object of a certain kind exists is to be backed by an explicit display or exhibition of an object that is manifestly of that kind. Let us refer to this requirement as the exhibition condition. The main objective of this essay is to examine this requirement and to arrive at a better understanding of its epistemic character and the role that it plays in the two main constructivist philosophies (...) of this century---the intuitionist programme of Brouwer and Weyl, and the finitist programme of Hilbert. (shrink)
David Hilbert's finitistic standpoint is a conception of elementary number theory designed to answer the intuitionist doubts regarding the security and certainty of mathematics. Hilbert was unfortunately not exact in delineating what that viewpoint was, and Hilbert himself changed his usage of the term through the 1920s and 30s. The purpose of this paper is to outline what the main problems are in understanding Hilbert and Bernays on this issue, based on some publications by them which have so far received (...) little attention, and on a number of philosophical reconstructions of the viewpoint (in particular, by Hand, Kitcher, and Tait). (shrink)
We formulate schemes and of the “typical” ∀∑ 1 b -sentences that are provable in T 2 1, respectively T 2 2. As an application, we reprove a recent result of Buss and Krajíček which describes witnesses for the ∀∑ 1 b -sentences provable in T 2 1 in terms of solutions to PLS-problems.
It is argued that an instrumentalist notion of proof such as that represented in Hilbert's viewpoint is not obligated to satisfy the conservation condition that is generally regarded as a constraint on Hilbert's Program. A more reasonable soundness condition is then considered and shown not to be counter-exemplified by Godel's First Theorem. Finally, attention is given to the question of what a theory is; whether it should be seen as a "list" or corpus of beliefs, or as a method for (...) selecting beliefs. The significance of this question for assessing "intensional" results like Godel's Second Theorem, and their bearing on Hilbert's Program are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I have considered various attempts to attribute significance to Gödel's second incompleteness theorem (G2 for short). Two of these attempts (Beth-Cohen and the position maintaining that G2 shows the failure of Hilbert's Program), I have argued, are false. Two others (an argument suggested by Beth, Cohen and ??? and Resnik's Interpretation), I argue, are groundless.
Full applicability of physics to human biology does not necessarily imply that one can uncover a comprehensive, algorithmic correlation between physical brain states and corresponding mental states. The argument takes into account that information processing is finite in principle in a finite world. Presumbly the brain-mind-relation cannot be resolved in all essential aspects, particularly when high degrees of abstraction or self-analytical processes are involved. Our conjecture plausibly unifies the universal validity of physics and a logical limitation of human thought, and (...) it does not regard consciousness -the most basic human experience - as a marginal phenomenon. (shrink)
Herein is presented a natural first-order arithmetic system which can prove its own consistency, both in the weaker Godelian sense using traditional Godel numbering and, more importantly, in a more robust and direct sense; yet it is strong enough to prove many arithmetic theorems, including the Euclidean Algorithm, Quadratic Reciprocity, and Bertrand’s Postulate.