FOM: Franzen on fiction steel at
Fri Dec 5 13:03:39 EST 1997

   Torkel Franzen writes:

 So I don't really see any opposition between your continuing to look for
a solution to the continuum problem and others regarding the problem as
having no solution. 

  The difference of opinion does matter, in grant reviews, in hiring
committees, in what you advise students to do, and elsewhere.  

   Later, Franzen writes:

 we may take the view that we have a shared understanding of
the (fictitious) world of sets that leads us to a number of non-arbitrary
principles, on which we agree in virtue of this understanding. It's just
that our understanding or intuition doesn't necessarily cover every aspect
of this fictitious world...

  On this view, it would seem that set theorists should submit their
grant applications to the NEH, not the NSF, and be hired by English
departments rather than Mathematics departments. Set theory was not
invented/discovered as a new art form.

John Steel

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