The multiverse perspective on determinateness in set theory, Harvard, 2011

This talk, taking place October 19, 2011, is part of the year-long Exploring the Frontiers of Incompleteness (EFI) series at Harvard University, a workshop focused on the question of determinateness in set theory, a central question in the philosophy of set theory. JDH at Harvard Streaming video will be available on-line, and each talk will be associated with an on-line discussion forum, to which links will be made here later.

In this talk, I will discuss the multiverse perspective on determinateness in set theory.  The multiverse view in set theory is the view that there are many distinct concepts of set, each instantiated in a corresponding set-theoretic universe. The universe view, in contrast, asserts that there is an absolute background set concept, with a corresponding absolute set-theoretic universe in which every set-theoretic question has a definite answer.  The multiverse position, I argue, explains our experience with the enormous diversity of set-theoretic possibilities, a phenomenon that challenges the universe view.  In particular, I shall argue that the continuum hypothesis is settled on the multiverse view by our extensive knowledge about how it behaves in the multiverse, and as a result it can no longer be settled in the manner formerly hoped for.

Workshop materials | Article | Slides | EFI discussion forum | Video Stream

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  1. Pingback: Exploring the Frontiers of Incompleteness, Harvard, August 2013 | Joel David Hamkins

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