I just saw this meta post concerning a tag for NFU or more generally New Foundations. There is good reason not to have a tag for too specific tags, but then I also noticed that there is a tag for . At present it has only 7 questions asked by only 5 people, so I think there is no reason to keep it.

Isn't the tag good enough? Should we just remove the tag from all these questions and add the tag (if not already there)?


I think the reasons given to potentially remove the tag are misguided.

  • There is good reason not to have a tag for too specific [concepts]

    I would argue that in some cases there are very good reasons to have tags for specific concepts. In fact, I believe that at times these are better tags than many of our broader ones. Certain specific mathematical constructs/objects/etc. come up again and again in questions on this site, and it is often useful to group these together under a tag. Sometimes they go by several different names and notations in the literature, and so relying on site-search to find relevant questions is not always optimal.

    A couple that I have been involved in the creation of are and . I argue that these are much better tags than the much larger and , which have great ambiguity to their usage. And our extremely broad tags (, , , , etc.) only serve to delineate the various branches of mathematics, but often say very little about the content of a specific question.

  • At present it has only 7 questions asked by only 5 people, so I think there is no reason to keep it.

    The size of a tag really has no bearing on its usefulness. Tags "are for sorting your question into specific, well-defined categories" in order to "connect experts with questions they will be able to answer" (see this Meta Stack Exchange answer). That a tag is small only implies that (currently) few questions have been asked under that tag. It does not mean that categorising these questions together is without merit.

That said, I am personally uncertain about the usefulness of a tag. My concern is that it is not clear to me how this tag differs from the tag. I am not an expert in these matters, but my understanding is that there is considerable — if not nearly complete — overlap between these topics. So from my standpoint the question is whether should stand alone, or be synonymized with (with one or the other as master).

But since univalent foundations (HoTT) constitute a specific, and perhaps currently non-standard, approach to mathematical foundations, using a separate tag to separate these questions from those about the currently-more-standard set-theoretic/ZFC foundations seems appropriate.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for editing my question, and for your answer, but then by your reasoning we ought to have a "new foundations" tag too, because indeed I've been having difficulty finding posts on it... $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    May 15 '16 at 7:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user21820 I agree, as I did in the meta-post you linked to in the question. That was actually my first post on meta.math, and my persuasiveness left much to be desired. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    May 15 '16 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ Oh oops by the time I saw your answer here I had forgotten it was you who also gave an answer there. I guess we'll see what other people think! $\endgroup$
    – user21820
    May 15 '16 at 7:40

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