Week 10, 2 December 2014 (16:00-18:00 Watson R17/18)

Chris Scambler (Birmingham)

Title : A Semi-Constructive Framework for Set-Theoretic Truth

Abstract: The independence phenomenon in set theory has raised the spectre of there being absolutely undecidable set-theoretic statements. While (philosophically, at least) it is straightforward to see how one ought to argue that a given statement is decidable, arguing for the contrary claim seems much more difficult. In the beginning of my talk, I will discuss the methodological difficulties that arise in arguing for absolute undecidability in set theory, and suggest various criteria such an argument must meet to be successful. I then examine a particular attempt to make such an argument based on Solomon Feferman’s `semi-constructive' framework for set theory, and consider its philosophical merits relative to the emergent criteria. I go on to argue that the semi-constructive framework presented is at least as compelling as some of the more common multiverse views on set-theoretic truth.

About the seminar

The Midlands Logic Seminar was founded in 2011 and aims to cover all areas of mathematical logic, as well as related areas of theoretical computer science and philosophy of mathematics.

Study group

Our topic for Term 1 of 2014-2015 is the use of induction and heuristics in mathematical problem solving. We will be working through George Polya's book Induction and Analogy in Mathematics .


All meetings for Term 1 2014-15 will be Tuesday from 16:00-18:00 (study group 16:00-17:00, research talks 17:00-18:00) in room 310 of Watson Building (TBC) on the campus of the University of Birmingham.
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    To get to campus, take the train from Birmingham New Street to the University stop (7 minutes).


    Dr Richard Kaye
    School of Mathematics
    University of Birmingham


    Dr Walter Dean
    Department of Philosophy
    University of Warwick