[FOM] Formalization Thesis: A second attempt

Ivan Antonowitz binchem at mweb.co.za
Fri May 28 05:32:29 EDT 2010

It is unclear whether Gyorgy Sereny is proposing psychologism , in its worst
sense, or merely pointing out that it is rather prevalent. Here is a
paraphrase of his post:
. . . the simplest and shortest potential candidate for being a
`mathematically acceptable proof' of the original statement corresponding to
a formal proof of S might be completely incomprehensible for a human being
(e.g., it is too long or too complex for us to grasp its meaning). In this
case, the notion of a `mathematically acceptable proof' cannot meaningfully
be applied to it.

There are already plenty of examples of Formal Proofs that beyond the
capacity of any single individual. In olden days we relied on overlapping
consensus as the Formalization Thesis attempts to now characterize. Nowadays
we trust instead to computers, but still insist that any particularly
elegant solutions that it produces cannot 'possibly' be Creative as
psychologically defined.

Ivan Antonowitz

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