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Number theory and elementary arithmetic
 Philosophia Mathematica
, 2003
"... Elementary arithmetic (also known as “elementary function arithmetic”) is a fragment of firstorder arithmetic so weak that it cannot prove the totality of an iterated exponential function. Surprisingly, however, the theory turns out to be remarkably robust. I will discuss formal results that show t ..."
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Elementary arithmetic (also known as “elementary function arithmetic”) is a fragment of firstorder arithmetic so weak that it cannot prove the totality of an iterated exponential function. Surprisingly, however, the theory turns out to be remarkably robust. I will discuss formal results that show that many theorems of number theory and combinatorics are derivable in elementary arithmetic, and try to place these results in a broader philosophical context. 1
Does Reductive Proof Theory Have A Viable Rationale?
 Erkenntnis
, 2000
"... The goals of reduction and reductionism in the natural sciences are mainly explanatory in character, while those in mathematics are primarily foundational. In contrast to global reductionist programs which aim to reduce all of mathematics to one supposedly "universal " system or foundational sch ..."
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Cited by 3 (0 self)
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The goals of reduction and reductionism in the natural sciences are mainly explanatory in character, while those in mathematics are primarily foundational. In contrast to global reductionist programs which aim to reduce all of mathematics to one supposedly "universal " system or foundational scheme, reductive proof theory pursues local reductions of one formal system to another which is more justified in some sense. In this direction, two specific rationales have been proposed as aims for reductive proof theory, the constructive consistencyproof rationale and the foundational reduction rationale. However, recent advances in proof theory force one to consider the viability of these rationales. Despite the genuine problems of foundational significance raised by that work, the paper concludes with a defense of reductive proof theory at a minimum as one of the principal means to lay out what rests on what in mathematics. In an extensive appendix to the paper, various reducti...
Mathematical Intuition vs. Mathematical Monsters
, 1998
"... Geometrical and physical intuition, both untutored and cultivated, is ubiquitous in the research, teaching, and development of mathematics. A number of mathematical “monsters”, or pathological objects, have been produced which⎯according to some mathematicians⎯seriously challenge the reliability of ..."
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Cited by 3 (1 self)
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Geometrical and physical intuition, both untutored and cultivated, is ubiquitous in the research, teaching, and development of mathematics. A number of mathematical “monsters”, or pathological objects, have been produced which⎯according to some mathematicians⎯seriously challenge the reliability of intuition. We examine several famous geometrical, topological and settheoretical examples of such monsters in order to see to what extent, if at all, intuition is undermined in its everyday roles.
Justifying and Exploring Realistic
"... The foundations of mathematics and physics no longer start with fundamental entities and their properties like spatial extension, points, lines or the billiard ball like particles of Newtonian physics. Mathematics has abolished these from its foundations in set theory by making all assumptions expli ..."
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The foundations of mathematics and physics no longer start with fundamental entities and their properties like spatial extension, points, lines or the billiard ball like particles of Newtonian physics. Mathematics has abolished these from its foundations in set theory by making all assumptions explicit and structural. Particle physics has become completely mathematical, connecting to physical reality only through experimental technique. Applying the principles guiding the foundations of mathematics and physics to philosophical analysis underscores that only conscious experience has an intrinsic nature. This leads to a version of realistic monism in which the essence and totality of the existence of physical structure is immediate experience in some form. Identifying physical structure with conscious experience allows the application of mathematics to the evolution of consciousness. Some of the implications from Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem are connected to creativity and ethics.
unknown title
, 2009
"... The expressional limits of formal languages in the notion of observation ..."
An overview of the ordinal calculator
"... An ordinal calculator has been developed as an aid for understanding the countable ordinal hierarchy and as a research tool that may eventually help to expand it. A GPL licensed version is available in C++. It is an interactive command line calculator and can be used as a library. It includes notati ..."
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An ordinal calculator has been developed as an aid for understanding the countable ordinal hierarchy and as a research tool that may eventually help to expand it. A GPL licensed version is available in C++. It is an interactive command line calculator and can be used as a library. It includes notations for the ordinals uniquely expressible in Cantor normal form, the Veblen hierarchies and a form of ordinal projection or collapsing using notations for countable admissible ordinals and their limits. The calculator does addition, multiplication and exponentiation on ordinal notations. For a recursive limit ordinal notation, α, it can list an initial segment of an infinite sequence of notations such that the union of the ordinals represented by the sequence is the ordinal represented by α. It can give the relative size of any two notations and it determines a unique notation for every ordinal represented. Input is in plain text. Output can be plain text and/or L ATEX math mode format. This approach is motivated by a philosophy of mathematical truth that sees objectively true mathematics as connected to properties of recursive processes. It suggests that computers are an essential adjunct to human intuition for extending the combinatorially complex parts of objective mathematics.
Mathematical incompleteness and objectively guided intrinsic values
"... As science and technology grow at an accelerating rate they create a similar growth in our power to manipulate the physical world. This growth is only possible through the objective guidance of mathematics and experiments. This has led to many great advances. However the use of this power is largely ..."
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As science and technology grow at an accelerating rate they create a similar growth in our power to manipulate the physical world. This growth is only possible through the objective guidance of mathematics and experiments. This has led to many great advances. However the use of this power is largely determined by human values and ultimately what is believed to have intrinsic value. Here no objective guide exists. This puts us in the position of the sorcerer’s apprentice with far more power than we know how to control. The lack of an objective guide to values has helped to create the existential threats of human caused global warming and nuclear weapons. It contributes to many other problems with immense and needless human suffering. This article argues that intrinsic value exists only in conscious experience. It links consciousness with physical structure by making the simplest possible assumptions consistent with what we know. This is the starting point for an objective understanding of intrinsic value. Mathematical incompleteness implies that any consistent mathematical system, can