nLab
Edward Nelson

Edward Nelson (May 4, 1932 – September 10, 2014) was a professor in the Mathematics Department at Princeton University.

Writing

Ultrafinitism

Nelson argued for a position in the philosophy of mathematics known as ultrafinitism:

  • Edward Nelson, Warning Signs of a Possible Collapse of Contemporary Mathematics (pdf)

(In)Consistency of Peano Arithmetic

At one point Nelson claimed to have a formal proof of inconsistency of Peano arithmetic (PA). While the proof turned out to be wrong, as acknowledged by Nelson, given that the supicion that PA might be inconsistent after all is shared by others (e.g. Vladimir Voevodsky) it is still interesting to see Nelson’s proof strategy via Chaitin's incompleteness theorem:

  • Edward Nelson, Outline (of an attempt to prove inconsistency of PA) (pdf)

category: people

Last revised on October 28, 2014 at 13:51:55. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.