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Reflections on Skolem's Paradox
"... In 1922, Thoraf Skolem published a paper titled "Some remarks on Axiomatized Set Theory". The paper presents a new proof of... This dissertation focuses almost exclusively on the first half of this project  i.e., the half which tries to expose an initial tension between Cantor's the ..."
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In 1922, Thoraf Skolem published a paper titled "Some remarks on Axiomatized Set Theory". The paper presents a new proof of... This dissertation focuses almost exclusively on the first half of this project  i.e., the half which tries to expose an initial tension between Cantor's theorem and the LöwenheimSkolem theorem. I argue that, even on quite naive understandings of set theory and model theory, there is no such tension. Hence, Skolem's Paradox is not a genuine paradox, and there is very little reason to worry about (or even to investigate) the more extreme consequences that are supposed to follow from this paradox. The heart of my...
SET THEORY FROM CANTOR TO COHEN
"... Set theory is an autonomous and sophisticated field of mathematics, enormously successful not only at its continuing development of its historical heritage but also at analyzing mathematical propositions and gauging their consistency strength. But set theory is also distinguished by having begun int ..."
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Set theory is an autonomous and sophisticated field of mathematics, enormously successful not only at its continuing development of its historical heritage but also at analyzing mathematical propositions and gauging their consistency strength. But set theory is also distinguished by having begun intertwined with pronounced metaphysical attitudes, and these have even been regarded as crucial by some of its great developers. This has encouraged the exaggeration of crises in foundations and of metaphysical doctrines in general. However, set theory has proceeded in the opposite direction, from a web of intensions to a theory of extension par excellence, and like other fields of mathematics its vitality and progress have depended on a steadily growing core of mathematical proofs and methods, problems and results. There is also the stronger contention that from the beginning set theory actually developed through a progression of mathematical moves, whatever and sometimes in spite of what has been claimed on its behalf. What follows is an account of the development of set theory from its beginnings through the creation of forcing based on these contentions, with an avowedly Whiggish emphasis on the heritage that has been retained and developed by the current theory. The
BENACERRAF’S DILEMMA AND INFORMAL MATHEMATICS
"... Abstract. This paper puts forward and defends an account of mathematical truth, and in particular an account of the truth of mathematical axioms. The proposal attempts to be completely nonrevisionist. In this connection, it seeks to satisfy simultaneously both horns of Benacerraf’s dilemma. The acco ..."
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Abstract. This paper puts forward and defends an account of mathematical truth, and in particular an account of the truth of mathematical axioms. The proposal attempts to be completely nonrevisionist. In this connection, it seeks to satisfy simultaneously both horns of Benacerraf’s dilemma. The account builds upon Georg Kreisel’s work on informal rigour. Kreisel defends the view that axioms are arrived at by a rigorous examination of our informal notions, as opposed to being stipulated or arrived at by trial and error. This view is then supplemented by a Fregean account of the objectivity and our knowledge of abstract objects. It is then argued that the resulting view faces no insurmountable metaphysical or epistemic obstacles. §1. Introduction. Benacerraf’s (1973) paper ‘Mathematical truth ’ presents a problem with which any position in the philosophy of mathematics must come to terms. Benacerraf’s paper is often seen as presenting a dilemma where common sense seems to pull in opposite directions. Common sense with respect to the truth and the syntactical form of mathematical statements leads us to conclude that mathematical propositions concern