[FOM] proving Q inconsistent

Rupert McCallum rupertmccallum at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 9 02:43:47 EDT 2005

On p. 313 of the anthology "Logic, Logic, and Logic", in the article
"Is Hume's Principle Analytic?", Boolos writes

"Saying exactly which theories are known to be consistent is a
difficult problem made even more difficult when one hears of respected
mathematicians telling of their failed attempts to prove Q

This intrigued me and I wondered who had actually tried to do such a
thing. I found an article on the Internet saying Edward Nelson
suspected that Q was inconsistent in his book "Predicative Arithmetic",
but on examination of the book this seemed not to be the case (though
he did tell of his attempts to prove PA inconsistent). Does anyone know
who has tried to prove Q inconsistent?

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