Modal quantifiers, potential infinity, and Yablo sequences (Michał Godziszewski)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on March 18th from 4:15-6:15 in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 7395) for a talk by Michał Godziszewski (Warsaw).

Title: Modal quantifiers, potential infinity, and Yablo sequences

Abstract: When properly arithmetized, Yablo’s paradox results in a set of formulas which (with local disquotation in the background) turns out to be consistent, but omega-inconsistent. Adding either uniform disquotation or the omega-rule results in  inconsistency. Since the paradox involves an infinite sequence of sentences, one might think that it doesn’t arise in finitary contexts. We study whether it does. It turns out that the issue depends on how the finitistic approach is formalized. On one of them, proposed by Marcin Mostowski, all the paradoxical sentences simply fail to hold. This happens at a price: the underlying finitistic arithmetic itself is omega-inconsistent. Finally, when studied in the context of a finitistic approach which preserves the truth of standard arithmetic, the paradox strikes back — it does so with double force, for now the inconsistency can be obtained without the use of uniform disquotation or the omega-rule.

Note: This is joint work with Rafał Urbaniak (Gdańsk).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *