The Provability of Consistency (Sergei Artemov)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on November 4th from 4:15-6:15 in room 7314 of the CUNY Graduate Center for a talk by Sergei Artemov (CUNY).

Title: The Provability of Consistency

Abstract: We revisit the foundational question “Can consistency of a theory T be established by means of T?” The usual answer “No, by Gödel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem” is based on two assumptions:

1. Gödel’s internalized consistency formula is the only way to represent consistency.
2. Any contentual reasoning within T internalizes as a formal derivation in T.

We show that already for Peano arithmetic PA both of these assumptions are false: (1) does not cover such legitimate mode of presentation as schemes (think of the Induction scheme), (2) fails for schemes. Based on these observations, we offer a proof of PA-consistency by means of PA and discuss its potential impact.

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