842: Gromov's "most powerful language" and set theory

Harvey Friedman hmflogic at gmail.com
Sat Feb 8 02:53:34 EST 2020

>From a casual glance at the Gromov video I did not get a decent sense
of what kind of "language power" Gromov is referring to. Under various
well known interpretations of "language power" it is well known that
set theory is much stronger than alternatives (because of the large
cardinals that have such easy clean clear formulations). Even without
the large cardinals set theory is at least as strong as alternatives
under these usual interpretations.

Perhaps Gromov is talking about some sort of informal notion of
language power. However, the video does spend a lot of time debunking
mathematical discussions based on informal notions - even referring to
such things as nonsense.

With regard to the present proper domination of set theory as a
foundation, whereby category theory is interpreted in set theory,
there is another feature that I have discussed some years ago on FOM.
That is, that ZFC and probably the large cardinals as well are
canonically generated from finite set theory. And finite set theory,
with its principal hard core model HF (hereditarily finite sets) is of
clear special foundational importance. .

2/22/06  https://cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2006-February/009997.html

2/25/06  https://cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2006-February/010063.html

4/10/08  https://cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2008-April/012800.html

4/14/08  https://cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2008-April/012800.html

1/26/09  https://cs.nyu.edu/pipermail/fom/2009-January/013343.html


My website is at https://u.osu.edu/friedman.8/ and my youtube site is at
This is the 841th in a series of self contained numbered
postings to FOM covering a wide range of topics in f.o.m. The list of
previous numbered postings #1-799 can be found at

800: Beyond Perfectly Natural/6  4/3/18  8:37PM
801: Big Foundational Issues/1  4/4/18  12:15AM
802: Systematic f.o.m./1  4/4/18  1:06AM
803: Perfectly Natural/7  4/11/18  1:02AM
804: Beyond Perfectly Natural/8  4/12/18  11:23PM
805: Beyond Perfectly Natural/9  4/20/18  10:47PM
806: Beyond Perfectly Natural/10  4/22/18  9:06PM
807: Beyond Perfectly Natural/11  4/29/18  9:19PM
808: Big Foundational Issues/2  5/1/18  12:24AM
809: Goedel's Second Reworked/1  5/20/18  3:47PM
810: Goedel's Second Reworked/2  5/23/18  10:59AM
811: Big Foundational Issues/3  5/23/18  10:06PM
812: Goedel's Second Reworked/3  5/24/18  9:57AM
813: Beyond Perfectly Natural/12  05/29/18  6:22AM
814: Beyond Perfectly Natural/13  6/3/18  2:05PM
815: Beyond Perfectly Natural/14  6/5/18  9:41PM
816: Beyond Perfectly Natural/15  6/8/18  1:20AM
817: Beyond Perfectly Natural/16  Jun 13 01:08:40
818: Beyond Perfectly Natural/17  6/13/18  4:16PM
819: Sugared ZFC Formalization/1  6/13/18  6:42PM
820: Sugared ZFC Formalization/2  6/14/18  6:45PM
821: Beyond Perfectly Natural/18  6/17/18  1:11AM
822: Tangible Incompleteness/1  7/14/18  10:56PM
823: Tangible Incompleteness/2  7/17/18  10:54PM
824: Tangible Incompleteness/3  7/18/18  11:13PM
825: Tangible Incompleteness/4  7/20/18  12:37AM
826: Tangible Incompleteness/5  7/26/18  11:37PM
827: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/1  9/23/19  11:19PM
828: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/2  9/23/19  11:19PM
829: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/3  9/23/19  11:20PM
830: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/4  9/26/19  1:17 PM
831: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/5  9/29/19  2:54AM
832: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/6  10/2/19  1:15PM
833: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/7  10/5/19  2:34PM
834: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/8  10/10/19  5:02PM
835: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/9  10/13/19  4:50AM
836: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/10  10/14/19  12:34PM
837: Tangible Incompleteness Restarted/11 10/18/20  02:58AM
838: New Tangible Incompleteness/1 1/11/20 1:04PM
839: New Tangible Incompleteness/2 1/13/20 1:10 PM
840: New Tangible Incompleteness/3 1/14/20 4:50PM
841: New Tangible Incompleteness/4 1/15/20 1:58PM

Harvey Friedman

More information about the FOM mailing list