[FOM] Survey question 3: recursive versus computable

John Baldwin jbaldwin at uic.edu
Tue May 16 15:48:23 EDT 2017

Survey question 2: recursive versus computable.

Here there were  6 responses of archaic and 5 of specialized. -- 4 said
distinct for various reasons.

I read most but not all responses  as referring to the usage I had in mind:

In mid 1990 Robert Soare argued the name of the subject should be
“Computability Theory” or simply Computability rather than “Recursive
Function Theory.”


He distinguished computability in general from definition by recursion.

The results of the poll indicate that for those close enough to
computability theory the name change has been accepted.

I didn't really get a good sense from the responses whether this
modification is as well known to philosophers as to mathematical logicians.

I now repeat the background parameters.

whether certain distinction between pairs of terms were archaic,
specialized or unknown to the respondent.

I deliberately gave no explanation of context and this sometimes
resulted in quite different rationales for the answers.

Given the loose phrasing of the question there were many different
responses to some the pairs.  I primarily report numbers that give
insight about the community's understanding.

Since I think fom posts should be short, I will report the responses
to each question in a different post over the next week.

John T. Baldwin
Professor Emeritus
Department of Mathematics, Statistics,
and Computer Science M/C 249
jbaldwin at uic.edu
851 S. Morgan
Chicago IL
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