FOM: hostility toward f.o.m.

Thomas Forster T.Forster at
Wed Jul 22 04:55:58 EDT 1998

Steve asks what i mean by
 > My feeling is that an important source of hostility to set theory
 > arises from mathematicians interpreting the foundational claims of
 > set theory as somehow deconstructing their activity, and nobody
 > likes being deconstructed!

  What i mean is that (i think) a lot of mathematicians
interpret the foundationa claims of (some) logicians to
mean that logicians think that they (the logicians)
understand the meaning and purpose of mathematics better
than other mathematicians.  They get irritated by this
rather in the way that we get irritated by philosophers
who know no mathematics writing about philosophy of
mathematics.   Nobody enjoys watching their activity
being explained to the world by someone who doesn't do
it (or, they think) understand it.  ...and that is the
position that some mathematicians think they are in
vis-a-vis logicians.

    That was a mouthful, wasn't it!?  Can i continue to
use the word `deconstruct' as before - it makes for


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