[FOM] Thoughts on CH 2

Timothy Y. Chow tchow at alum.mit.edu
Tue Aug 19 12:16:18 EDT 2014

Harvey Friedman wrote:

> It would be interesting to document just how mathematicians view set 
> theoretic problems as different than what they do. E.g., do they regard 
> the difference as fundamental (as I do), or "merely" sociological?

Not that I have any hard statistics to back this up, but surely most 
mathematicians hold the view that Arnon Avron recently expressed, namely 
that "the truth of mathematical assertion is not determined by voting or 
rating, but only by a full, rigorous mathematical proof"?  The 
undecidability of CH is confusing to most mathematicians and that is 
surely a large source of the distaste they have for it (and other problems 
where undecidability comes in).

On the other hand, for problems in set theory where set theorists are just 
straightforwardly trying to prove or disprove something, or possibly prove 
independence, I think the difference in attitude will be "merely" 


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