[FOM] Platonism and Formalism

John Steel steel at math.berkeley.edu
Thu Sep 18 12:51:04 EDT 2003

The story I remembered as to how Kunen found his no j: V to V
proof seems to be completely wrong. Aki Kanamori gently informed
me of this:

>  Kunen probably established the inconsistency in 1970 or perhaps
>1969. His published article in the JSL is in 1971.
>  Solovay probably established his result in 1972. His published article
>is in the Tarski conference proceedings, 1974.
>  The bibliographical details are in my book.

So Kunen couldn't have been trying to build on Solovay's not-yet- proved
theorem. (As I think about it more, that doesn't make a lot of sense even
as a possible history.)

Kunen's letter doesn't say what his motivation was. Perhaps he was indeed
just directly looking to refute the axiom.

John Steel

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