FOM: One person's blather is another one's progress JSHIPMAN at
Tue Dec 9 01:43:34 EST 1997

Apparently some of the readers found the discussion of CH here the last few
days unenlightening.  That's why e-mail messages have a subject header -- so
you have a chance to ignore something that probably won't interest you.
However, one who follows the thread (the primary contributors to which were
Feferman, Franzen, Tennant, and myself with useful interjections from Detlefsen,
Stanley, Davis and Shapiro) carefully can detect a genuine sharpening of ideas
and productive interaction.  In particular, we seem to have a better idea of
what it means for a statement to be vague, to be indefinite but not vague, to
be definite but essentially undecidable by us, to be definite but practically
undecidable by us, how much we can know about which of these possibilities
obtains for a given statement, the sociological and professional aspects of
disagreements about meaningfulness, truth, and significance of mathematical
propositions, and so on.  (Some of us might even say we learned something about
CH.) I'd like to strongly encourage anyone who has something further to say here
to go ahead (I've said enough, my next posting will be a new topic).-Joe Shipman

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