# Progressions of theories and slow consistency

## Michael Rathjen, University of Leeds

The fact that “natural” theories, i.e. theories which have something like an ‘idea’ to them, are almost always linearly ordered with regard to logical strength has been called one of the great mysteries of the foundation of mathematics. Using paradoxical methods, e.g. self-reference Rosser-style, one can distill theories with incomparable logical strengths and show that the degree structure of logical strengths is dense in that between two theories S < T one can always find a third Q such that S < Q < T. But are there ‘natural’ examples of such phenomena? We also know how to produce a stronger theory by adding the consistency of the theory. Can we get a stronger theory by adding something weaker than consistency that is still “natural”? These and other questions will be broached in the talk.