[FOM] ZFC and the Formalisation Thesis
F.A. Muller
f.a.muller at fwb.eur.nl
Sun May 30 06:32:04 EDT 2010
Dear all,
Two remarks, which perhaps are naive, but if they
are, I stand corrected. Please correct me.
1.
Category Theory works with lots of 'sets' that do not exist
according to ZFC. The body of theorems proved in Category
Theory surely cannot be neglected, right?
(*) So the thesis that all mathematical knowledge can be founded
on ZFC is refuted. Hence we move to 'most of mathematical knowledge'.
But if 'most' excludes one of the most innovating and prominent
branches of mathematics (Category Theory), the interest in
the thesis should dwindle. Yet among FOM-ers it doesn't.
Why not?
2.
The 'higher infinite' is an area where model theory of set-theories
and mathematics has merged in such a way that drawing a distinction
there between what is mathematics and what is logic seems artificial.
When we count the body of theorems proved in this area also as
belonging to mathematical knowledge, we have another example of
an innovating (forcing, etc.) branch of mathematics that cannot
be founded upon ZFC. Go to (*) above.
3.
I once defended that the most modest extension of ZFC that can
found Category Theory is a slight extension of Ackermann's
set-theory (modest in the sense of logically weaker than all
other extant proposals of set-theories extending ZFC, such as
Mac Lane's proposal, Grothendieck's universes, etc. [See
`Sets, Classes and Categorie', British Journal of the Philosophy
of Science 52 (2001) 539-573, PDF of it can be downloaded from
my homepage: www.phys.uu.nl/~wwwgrnsl go to Staff Members.]
--> F.A. Muller
Utrecht University
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