Godel's theorem and mechanism

Philosophy 44 (September):234-7 (1969)
In “Minds, Machines, and Gödel”, J. R. Lucas claims that Goedel's incompleteness theorem constitutes a proof “that Mechanism is false, that is, that minds cannot be explained as machines”. He claims further that “if the proof of the falsity of mechanism is valid, it is of the greatest consequence for the whole of philosophy”. It seems to me that both of these claims are exaggerated. It is true that no minds can be explained as machines. But it is not true that Goedel's theorem proves this. At most, Goedel's theorem proves that not all minds can be explained as machines. Since this is so, Goedel's theorem cannot be expected to throw much light on why minds are different from machines. Lucas overestimates the importance of Goedel's theorem for the topic of mechanism, I believe, because he presumes falsely that being unable to follow any but mechanical procedures in mathematics makes something a machine
Keywords Mathematics  Mechanism  Goedel  Lucas, J
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819100024608
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A. Hutton (1976). This Godel is Killing Me. Philosophia 3 (March):135-44.
I. J. Good (1969). Godel's Theorem is a Red Herring. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (February):357-8.
David L. Boyer (1983). R. Lucas, Kurt Godel, and Fred Astaire. Philosophical Quarterly 33 (April):147-59.
John R. Lucas (1970). Mechanism: A Rejoinder. Philosophy 45 (April):149-51.
William H. Hanson (1971). Mechanism and Godel's Theorem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (February):9-16.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #196,844 of 1,932,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,096 of 1,932,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.