[FOM] predicative foundations

Nik Weaver nweaver at math.wustl.edu
Fri Feb 17 01:33:00 EST 2006

Stephen Pollard suggests a possible way to get around my claim
that "You can't even say what P(N) is without resorting to
platonistic ideas."

I want to understand this better.  It seems like the proposal
involves the concept "set" as an undefined primitive concept.
Is that a fair assessment?  If not, could the proposal be
reexpressed in a way that would make sense to someone (like
me) who does not believe in sets?  If we do have to take
the set concept as primitive, is it being understood in a
non-platonistic way?

Another way to make my point about N is that I can interpret
number theoretic assertions as being about marks on paper,
and in this way avoid reference to natural numbers conceived
as abstract metaphysical entities.  But it seemed to me that
one has no similar trick for dealing with P(N).


More information about the FOM mailing list