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Inconsistency Robustness in Foundations


Inconsistency Robustness is performance of information systems with pervasively inconsistent information. Inconsistency Robustness of the community of professional mathematicians is their performance repeatedly repairing contradictions over the centuries. In the Inconsistency Robustness paradigm, deriving contradictions have been a progressive development and not "game stoppers." Contradictions can be helpful instead of being something to be "swept under the rug" by denying their existence, which has been repeatedly attempted by Establishment Philosophers (beginning with some Pythagoreans). Such denial has delayed mathematical development. This article reports how considerations of Inconsistency Robustness have recently influenced the foundations of mathematics for Computer Science continuing a tradition developing the sociological basis for foundations. The current common understanding is that G\"odel proved "Mathematics cannot prove its own consistency, if it is consistent." However, the consistency of mathematics is proved by a simple argument in this article. Consequently, the current common understanding that G\"odel proved "Mathematics cannot prove its own consistency, if it is consistent" is inaccurate. Wittgenstein long ago showed that contradiction in mathematics results from the kind of "self-referential" sentence that G\"odel used in his argument that mathematics cannot prove its own consistency. However, using a typed grammar for mathematical sentences, it can be proved that the kind "self-referential" sentence that G\"odel used in his argument cannot be constructed because required the fixed point that G\"odel used to the construct the "self-referential" sentence does not exist. In this way, consistency of mathematics is preserved without giving up power.
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hal-01148293 , version 1 (04-05-2015)
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Carl Hewitt. Inconsistency Robustness in Foundations: Mathematics self proves its own formal consistency and other matters. Carl Hewitt, John Woods. Inconsistency Robustness, 52, College Publications, 2015, Studies in logic, 978-1-84890-159-9. ⟨hal-01148293v17⟩


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