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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2004-05 >> abstracts

Tuesday, 7 December 2004
De-linearising 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 Ehrenfeucht-Mostowski) that make use of it. This is a non-technical talk for those interested in philosophy of language and philosophy of mathematics, not for logicians, though they are welcome too!

Revised 3/11/08 - Copyright 2006