FOM: Barwise blunder?

Moshe' Machover moshe.machover at
Tue Nov 11 10:12:52 EST 1997

>It seems to me that Jon Barwise may be mistaken in thinking that Godel was
>referring to non-standard analysis in his remark, made in 1961. It was in
>1961 that Robinson published his first paper on non-standard analysis.
>This makes it dubious as to whether Godel would have known of it at the
>time he was writing. So Godel may have been referring to the epsilon-delta
>replacement for the notion of infinitesimal, not to Robinson's
>reconstruction of it.

Correction: Robinson invented NSA in the fall of 1960 and gave a talk about
it at Princeton University in November 1960 and to the ASL meeting in
January 1961. (See his Preface to the first edition of his book)

So Goedel almost certainly knew about it by early 1961. Recall also
Goedel's comment in his preface to the second (1977) edition of Robinson's

> ... there are good reasons to believe that NSA, in some version or other,
>will > be the analysis of the future.

Personally I think this is a bit OTT. But it seems that Barwise was right
first time.

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