Timeline of mathematical logic

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A timeline of mathematical logic ; see also history of logic.


19th century

20th century


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Automated theorem proving is a subfield of automated reasoning and mathematical logic dealing with proving mathematical theorems by computer programs. Automated reasoning over mathematical proof was a major impetus for the development of computer science.

In mathematics and computer science, the Entscheidungsproblem is a challenge posed by David Hilbert and Wilhelm Ackermann in 1928. The problem asks for an algorithm that considers, as input, a statement and answers "yes" or "no" according to whether the statement is universally valid, i.e., valid in every structure satisfying the axioms.

In the philosophy of mathematics, intuitionism, or neointuitionism, is an approach where mathematics is considered to be purely the result of the constructive mental activity of humans rather than the discovery of fundamental principles claimed to exist in an objective reality. That is, logic and mathematics are not considered analytic activities wherein deep properties of objective reality are revealed and applied, but are instead considered the application of internally consistent methods used to realize more complex mental constructs, regardless of their possible independent existence in an objective reality.

Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical properties of formal systems of logic such as their expressive or deductive power. However, it can also include uses of logic to characterize correct mathematical reasoning or to establish foundations of mathematics.

In mathematical logic, model theory is the study of the relationship between formal theories, and their models. The aspects investigated include the number and size of models of a theory, the relationship of different models to each other, and their interaction with the formal language itself. In particular, model theorists also investigate the sets that can be defined in a model of a theory, and the relationship of such definable sets to each other. As a separate discipline, model theory goes back to Alfred Tarski, who first used the term "Theory of Models" in publication in 1954. Since the 1970s, the subject has been shaped decisively by Saharon Shelah's stability theory.

Gödel's incompleteness theorems are two theorems of mathematical logic that are concerned with the limits of provability in formal axiomatic theories. These results, published by Kurt Gödel in 1931, are important both in mathematical logic and in the philosophy of mathematics. The theorems are widely, but not universally, interpreted as showing that Hilbert's program to find a complete and consistent set of axioms for all mathematics is impossible.

In mathematical logic, the compactness theorem states that a set of first-order sentences has a model if and only if every finite subset of it has a model. This theorem is an important tool in model theory, as it provides a useful method for constructing models of any set of sentences that is finitely consistent.

Computability theory, also known as recursion theory, is a branch of mathematical logic, computer science, and the theory of computation that originated in the 1930s with the study of computable functions and Turing degrees. The field has since expanded to include the study of generalized computability and definability. In these areas, computability theory overlaps with proof theory and effective descriptive set theory.

Foundations of mathematics is the study of the philosophical and logical and/or algorithmic basis of mathematics, or, in a broader sense, the mathematical investigation of what underlies the philosophical theories concerning the nature of mathematics. In this latter sense, the distinction between foundations of mathematics and philosophy of mathematics turns out to be vague. Foundations of mathematics can be conceived as the study of the basic mathematical concepts and how they form hierarchies of more complex structures and concepts, especially the fundamentally important structures that form the language of mathematics also called metamathematical concepts, with an eye to the philosophical aspects and the unity of mathematics. The search for foundations of mathematics is a central question of the philosophy of mathematics; the abstract nature of mathematical objects presents special philosophical challenges.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metamathematics</span> Study of mathematics itself

Metamathematics is the study of mathematics itself using mathematical methods. This study produces metatheories, which are mathematical theories about other mathematical theories. Emphasis on metamathematics owes itself to David Hilbert's attempt to secure the foundations of mathematics in the early part of the 20th century. Metamathematics provides "a rigorous mathematical technique for investigating a great variety of foundation problems for mathematics and logic". An important feature of metamathematics is its emphasis on differentiating between reasoning from inside a system and from outside a system. An informal illustration of this is categorizing the proposition "2+2=4" as belonging to mathematics while categorizing the proposition "'2+2=4' is valid" as belonging to metamathematics.

In mathematical logic, the Löwenheim–Skolem theorem is a theorem on the existence and cardinality of models, named after Leopold Löwenheim and Thoralf Skolem.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thoralf Skolem</span> Norwegian mathematician

Thoralf Albert Skolem was a Norwegian mathematician who worked in mathematical logic and set theory.

In logic, a true/false decision problem is decidable if there exists an effective method for deriving the correct answer. Zeroth-order logic is decidable, whereas first-order and higher-order logic are not. Logical systems are decidable if membership in their set of logically valid formulas can be effectively determined. A theory in a fixed logical system is decidable if there is an effective method for determining whether arbitrary formulas are included in the theory. Many important problems are undecidable, that is, it has been proven that no effective method for determining membership can exist for them.

In mathematical logic, a theory is categorical if it has exactly one model. Such a theory can be viewed as defining its model, uniquely characterizing the model's structure.

In mathematical logic and philosophy, Skolem's paradox is a seeming contradiction that arises from the downward Löwenheim–Skolem theorem. Thoralf Skolem (1922) was the first to discuss the seemingly contradictory aspects of the theorem, and to discover the relativity of set-theoretic notions now known as non-absoluteness. Although it is not an actual antinomy like Russell's paradox, the result is typically called a paradox and was described as a "paradoxical state of affairs" by Skolem.

In mathematical logic, a non-standard model of arithmetic is a model of (first-order) Peano arithmetic that contains non-standard numbers. The term standard model of arithmetic refers to the standard natural numbers 0, 1, 2, …. The elements of any model of Peano arithmetic are linearly ordered and possess an initial segment isomorphic to the standard natural numbers. A non-standard model is one that has additional elements outside this initial segment. The construction of such models is due to Thoralf Skolem (1934).

Logic is the formal science of using reason and is considered a branch of both philosophy and mathematics and to a lesser extent computer science. Logic investigates and classifies the structure of statements and arguments, both through the study of formal systems of inference and the study of arguments in natural language. The scope of logic can therefore be very large, ranging from core topics such as the study of fallacies and paradoxes, to specialized analyses of reasoning such as probability, correct reasoning, and arguments involving causality. One of the aims of logic is to identify the correct and incorrect inferences. Logicians study the criteria for the evaluation of arguments.

In computability theory and computational complexity theory, an undecidable problem is a decision problem for which it is proved to be impossible to construct an algorithm that always leads to a correct yes-or-no answer. The halting problem is an example: it can be proven that there is no algorithm that correctly determines whether arbitrary programs eventually halt when run.