10 March 2017

Speaker: Stewart Shapiro (Ohio State University)

Location: 16:00-18:00, Law Building (R1)

Title :

Basically Natural: On the Relative Fundamentality of Ordinal and Cardinal Conceptions of Number

Abstract: A number of authors have argued, or just claimed, the notion of cardinal number is more basic than the notion of ordinal number, or the other way around. The answer to this question depends on what the question is.

29 November 2016

Location: 16:00-18:00, Watson 310

Speaker: Andrew Arana (Paris 1)

Title : Meaning and interpretation in mathematics

Abstract: We articulate the view that mutually interpretable statements have identical meanings. We then argue against this view by showing that it would make unintelligible an important mathematical practice, namely that of purity of methods.

25 October 2016

Location: 16:00-18:00, Watson 310

Study Group:

We will continue our discussion of Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?

Speaker: Walter Dean (Warwick)

Title : Incompleteness via paradox and completeness

Abstract: This talk will explore a method for uniformly transforming the paradoxes of naive set theory and semantics into formal incompleteness results originally due to Georg Kreisel and Hao Wang. I will first trace the origins of this method in relation to Gödel’s proof of the completeness theorem for first-order logic and its subsequent arithmetization by Hilbert and Bernays in their Grundlagen der Mathematik. I will then describe how the method can be applied to construct arithmetical statements formally independent of systems of set theory and second-order arithmetic via formalizations of Russell’s paradox and the Liar (and time permitting also the Skolem and Richard paradoxes). Finally, I will consider the significance of these results relative to both the Hilbert program and subsequent work in predicative mathematics.

18 October 2016

Location: 16:00-18:00, Watson 310

Study Group:

We will continue our discussion of Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?

11 October 2016

Location: 16:00-18:00, Watson 310

Study Group:

Richard Kaye

Abstract: Dedekind’s "Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?" is well known as presenting second order axioms for natural numbers, and proving their categoricity. This is also the work where the notion of “Dedekind finite set” is introduced. Perhaps less well known is that Dedekind also gives a full proof of the recursion theorem to justify the iteration of functions over the naturals. (Dedekind’s iteration of functions is nearly, but not quite the same as the familiar scheme of primitive recursion. The differences are quite interesting.) Perhaps even more interesting is that Dedekind also gives a “well-ordering theorem” for Dedekind finite sets. Of course (as we now know) this result requires some form of the axiom of choice and it is instructive to see where AC is implicitly used in Dedekind’s proof. I will lead this discussion, attempting also to put this work into historical context as far as possible. This should be of interest to many people involved in logic, history of maths, philosophy and computer science, and all are welcome.

Prior Sessions

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

We will start out the term with a discussion of Dedekind's 1888 essay Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen? This is available in translation (as "The nature and meaning of the numbers" (pp. 21-58) here.


Our meeting time for term 1 of 2016-2017 will be Tuesday 16:00-18:00 in Watson 310. This is located in the School of Mathematics which is building R15 on the maps here:
  • interactive map
  • pdf campus map


    Dr Richard Kaye
    School of Mathematics
    University of Birmingham


    Dr Walter Dean
    Department of Philosophy
    University of Warwick