[FOM] Infinity and the "Noble Lie"
joeshipman@aol.com
joeshipman at aol.com
Sat Jan 7 16:23:20 EST 2006
Shipman:
> Now consider the Paris-Harrington Theorem, which changes the
conclusion of
> Ramsey's theorem to require that the monochromatic subset S be
"relatively
> large" (|S|>min(S)). All proofs of this theorem must assume the axiom
of
> infinity.
Lagnese:
Are you saying this theorem implies the axiom of infinity?
Otherwise, what do you precisely mean by "must assume the axiom of
infinity"?
I reply:
I mean something very simple. Any proof in ZFC of the Paris-Harrington
Theorem must, at some point, use the ZFC Axiom of Infinity. If you
remove that axiom from ZFC, the resulting system is not powerful enough
to prove the Paris-Harrington Theorem, though it is powerful enough to
prove Ramsey's Theorem.
You may, instead, choose to prove the Paris-Harrington Theorem in some
other formal system, but you will be unable to translate that proof
into ZFC without at some point using the Infinity Axiom.
-- JS
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