[FOM] FOM Formation Rules

Neil Tennant neilt at mercutio.cohums.ohio-state.edu
Tue Oct 17 22:14:31 EDT 2006

On Mon, 16 Oct 2006, John Corcoran wrote:

> No matter what is meant by rigorous this is an interesting question. I
> would like to know when logicians started thinking of formal languages
> as subsets of the set of finite strings over a finite alphabet, which of
> course is what they are. My guess would include reference to Emil Post's
> dissertation in the 1920's.
> In order to make the original question precise one should specify more
> fully what is mean by rigorous. If by rigorous you mean stated in a
> formalized metalanguage having axioms characterizing the class of string
> over the alphabet of the formal language in question, then the answer is
> probably the Alfred Tarski 1933 truth-definition paper known as
> "Wahrheitsbegriff" (references below). Unfortunately, it must be
> admitted that Tarski seems to show no awareness of the essential
> finiteness conditions.


I think you may be too hard on Tarski here. Or, if I'm being too easy on
him, please let me know why! See my earlier posting


for how it is that Tarski secures finiteness.


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