Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not Not Double Negation

“Interestingly, one mathematician won the Fields Medal (mathematics' most prestigious prize) by distinguishing formally between not-not-A and A. Paul Cohen of Stanford showed how to develop a formal logic (called forcing) in which not-not-A and A are different. He capitalized on this distinction to show that certain mathematical statements (among them Cantor's continuum hypothesis) are neither necessarily true nor necessarily false.” -Keith Devlin, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.

In short, it has been proven that one cannot claim double negatives are assertions of the fact that is being doubly negated. It’s a slap in the face to annoying nitpickers everywhere!

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