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Cycling in proofs and feasibility
 Transactions of the American Mathematical Society
, 1998
"... Abstract. There is a common perception by which small numbers are considered more concrete and large numbers more abstract. A mathematical formalization of this idea was introduced by Parikh (1971) through an inconsistent theory of feasible numbers in which addition and multiplication are as usual b ..."
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Cited by 8 (4 self)
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Abstract. There is a common perception by which small numbers are considered more concrete and large numbers more abstract. A mathematical formalization of this idea was introduced by Parikh (1971) through an inconsistent theory of feasible numbers in which addition and multiplication are as usual but for which some very large number is defined to be not feasible. Parikh shows that sufficiently short proofs in this theory can only prove true statements of arithmetic. We pursue these topics in light of logical flow graphs of proofs (Buss, 1991) and show that Parikh’s lower bound for concrete consistency reflects the presence of cycles in the logical graphs of short proofs of feasibility of large numbers. We discuss two concrete constructions which show the bound to be optimal and bring out the dynamical aspect of formal proofs. For this paper the concept of feasible numbers has two roles, as an idea with its own life and as a vehicle for exploring general principles on the dynamics and geometry of proofs. Cycles can be seen as a measure of how complicated a proof can be. We prove that short proofs must have cycles. 1.
On Ontology and Realism in Mathematics * Outline
"... The paper is concerned with the way in which “ontology ” and “realism ” are to be interpreted and applied so as to give us a deeper philosophical understanding of mathematical theories and practice. Rather than argue for or against some particular realistic position, I shall be concerned with possib ..."
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The paper is concerned with the way in which “ontology ” and “realism ” are to be interpreted and applied so as to give us a deeper philosophical understanding of mathematical theories and practice. Rather than argue for or against some particular realistic position, I shall be concerned with possible coherent positions, their strengths and weaknesses. I shall also discuss related but different aspects of these problems. The terms in the title are the common thread that connects the various sections. The discussed topics range widely. Certain themes repeat in different sections, yet, for most part the sections (and sometimes the subsections) can be read separately Section 1 however states the basic position that informs the whole paper and, as such, should be read (it is not too long). The required technical knowledge varies, depending on the matter discussed. Aiming at a broader audience I have tried to keep the technical requirements at a minimum, or to supply a short overview. Material, which is elementary for some readers, may be far from elementary for others (my apologies to both). I also tried to supply information that may be of interest to everyone interested in these subjects.
Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences Prague
"... On the length of proofs of finitistic consistency statements in first order theories t ..."
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On the length of proofs of finitistic consistency statements in first order theories t