Tuesday, 7 December 2004
Delinearising Mathematical Notation
Thomas Forster
University of Cambridge
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: There is a strong tendency for our notations
to be linear, perhaps because time is linear. One effect of this
is a prominence of linear orders in statements of theorems about
syntax; a prominence that might have no basis in the mathematics
being notated. An obvious place to start a program of removing spurious
talk of total orders is with the idea (due originally to Ramsey)
of a set of indiscernibles and thinking about how to rephrase theorems
(such as EhrenfeuchtMostowski) that make use of it. This is a nontechnical
talk for those interested in philosophy of language and philosophy
of mathematics, not for logicians, though they are welcome too!
