[FOM] Inconsistency of Inaccessibility
MartDowd at aol.com
MartDowd at aol.com
Tue Oct 25 09:09:16 EDT 2011
In a message dated 10/24/2011 5:01:50 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
meskew at math.uci.edu writes:
Are you claiming that giving a convincing philosophical argument for
the addition of a mathematical axiom makes it likely that the axiom is
consistent?
It adds to the evidence. Statements which are independent of ZFC can only
be accepted by agreement that they are true. At this point, such
agreement is being argued for, but is by no means inevitable. A candidate for
acceptance should already enjoy substantial likelihood that it is consistent.
Existence of inaccessible cardinals seems consistent. They have appeared
in logic, in settings such as Grothendieck universes, monster sets, etc.
Most mathematicians would probably agree that consistency holds. Claiming
that truth holds is a bolder leap, although various mathematicians have been
inclined to make it. Actually, it seems that likelihood of consistency is
a prerequisite to possibility of truth.
The existence of measurable cardinals provides another example. Many set
theorists are inclined to accept the truth of this (I think the opposite
view should be well-considered, though). So far, attempts to prove
inconsistency have failed; but to me at least, there are few if any arguments for
consistency, other than that inconsistency has not been proved. Truth, in
fact, for inaccessible cardinals, on the other hand, can be given various
arguments.
I might add that some of the arguments in my paper are mathematical, for
example that certain axioms imply that Ord is Mahlo. This could be seen as
"a posteriori" evidence, as so highly favored by the advocates of measurable
cardinal existence.
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