[FOM] Formalization Thesis

Andrew Boucher Helene.Boucher at wanadoo.fr
Fri Jan 4 02:08:40 EST 2008

On Jan 4, 2008, at 1:42 AM, joeshipman at aol.com wrote:

> I repeat my earlier challenge: can anyone who disputes Chow's
> Formalization Thesis respond with a SPECIFIC MATHEMATICAL STATEMENT
> which they are willing to claim is not, despite its expressiblity in
> English text on the FOM discussion forum, "faithfully  
> representable" or
> "adequately expressible" as a sentence in the formal system ZFC?
> I don't want an argument that such a statement exists, and I don't  
> want
> a METAmathematical statement, I want an actual English sentence within
> quotation marks that is claimed to be mathematical but not  
> formalizable
> in Chow's sense.
> -- JS

"2+2 = 4"


I'd prefer to have left my answer at that, but a bit of explanation.   
The challenge seems to me:  provide a sentence and let's see what  
people belonging to the FOM discussion forum say, with the majority  
deciding the "winner".  This seems a poor methodology, since the FOM  
forum has, by its nature, certain biases.  If the respondents were  
working mathematicians, I would think that I would have an even  
chance of winning.  And if it were extended to the proverbial man-on- 
the-street, then I think I would win hands down. 

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