In a recent paper S. McCall adds another link to a chain of attempts to enlist Gödel’s incompletenessresult as an argument for the thesis that human reasoning cannot be construed as being carried out by a computer.1 McCall’s paper is undermined by a technical oversight. My concern however is not with the technical point. The argument from Gödel’s result to the no-computer thesis can be made without following McCall’s route; it is then straighter and more forceful. (...) Yet the argument fails in an interesting and revealing way. And it leaves a remainder: if some computer does in fact simulate all our mathematical reasoning, then, in principle, we cannot fully grasp how it works. Gödel’s result also points out a certain essential limitation of self-reflection. The resulting picture parallels, not accidentally, Davidson’s view of psychology, as a science that in principle must remain “imprecise”, not fully spelt out. What is intended here by “fully grasp”, and how all this is related to self-reflection, will become clear at the end of this comment. (shrink)
Gödel’s incompleteness applies to any system with recursively enumerable axioms and rules of inference. Chaitin’s approach to Gödel’s incompleteness relates the incompleteness to the amount of information contained in the axioms. Zurek’s quantum Darwinism attempts the physical description of the universe using information as one of its major components. The capacity of quantum Darwinism to describe quantum measurement in great detail without requiring ad-hoc non-unitary evolution makes it a good candidate for describing the transition from quantum to (...) classical. A baby-universe diffusion model of cosmic inflation is analyzed using quantum Darwinism. In this model cosmic inflation can be approximated as Brownian motion of a quantum field, and quantum Darwinism implies that molecular interaction during Brownian motion will make the quantum field decohere. The quantum Darwinism approach to decoherence in the baby-universe cosmic-inflation model yields the decoherence times of the baby-universes. The result is the equation relating the baby-universe’s decoherence time with the Hubble parameter, and that the decoherence time is considerably shorter than the cosmic inflation period. (shrink)
In "Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics" Wittgenstein discusses an argument that goes from Gödel’s incompletenessresult to the conclusion that some truths of mathematics are unprovable. Wittgenstein takes issue with this argument. Wittgenstein’s remarks in this connection have received very negative reaction from some very prominent people, for example, Gödel and Dummett. The paper is a defense of what Wittgenstein has to say about the argument in question.
It is well understood and appreciated that Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems apply to sufficiently strong, formal deductive systems. In particular, the theorems apply to systems which are adequate for conventional number theory. Less well known is that there exist algorithms which can be applied to such a system to generate a gödel-sentence for that system. Although the generation of a sentence is not equivalent to proving its truth, the present paper argues that the existence of these algorithms, when conjoined with (...) Gödel’s results and accepted theorems of recursion theory, does provide the basis for an apparent paradox. The difficulty arises when such an algorithm is embedded within a computer program of sufficient arithmetic power. The required computer program (an AI system) is described herein, and the paradox is derived. A solution to the paradox is proposed, which, it is argued, illuminates the truth status of axioms in formal models of programs and Turing machines. (shrink)
In the paper some applications of Gödel's incompleteness theorems to discussions of problems of computer science are presented. In particular the problem of relations between the mind and machine (arguments by J.J.C. Smart and J.R. Lucas) is discussed. Next Gödel's opinion on this issue is studied. Finally some interpretations of Gödel's incompleteness theorems from the point of view of the information theory are presented.
The Gödelian symphony -- Foundations and paradoxes -- This sentence is false -- The liar and Gödel -- Language and metalanguage -- The axiomatic method or how to get the non-obvious out of the obvious -- Peano's axioms -- And the unsatisfied logicists, Frege and Russell -- Bits of set theory -- The abstraction principle -- Bytes of set theory -- Properties, relations, functions, that is, sets again -- Calculating, computing, enumerating, that is, the notion of algorithm -- Taking numbers (...) as sets of sets -- It's raining paradoxes -- Cantor's diagonal argument -- Self-reference and paradoxes -- Hilbert -- Strings of symbols -- In mathematics there is no ignorabimus -- Gödel on stage -- Our first encounter with the incompleteness theorem -- And some provisos -- Gödelization, or say it with numbers! -- TNT -- The arithmetical axioms of tnt and the standard model N -- The fundamental property of formal systems -- The Gödel numbering -- And the arithmetization of syntax -- Bits of recursive arithmetic -- Making algorithms precise -- Bits of recursion theory -- Church's thesis -- The recursiveness of predicates, sets, properties, and relations -- And how it is represented in typographical number theory -- Introspection and representation -- The representability of properties, relations, and functions -- And the Gödelian loop -- I am not provable -- Proof pairs -- The property of being a theorem of TNI (is not recursive!) -- Arithmetizing substitution -- How can a TNT sentence refer to itself? -- Fixed point -- Consistency and omega-consistency -- Proving G1 -- Rosser's proof -- The unprovability of consistency and the immediate consequences of G1 and -- G2 -- Technical interlude -- Immediate consequences of G1 and G2 -- Undecidable1 and undecidable 2 -- Essential incompleteness, or the syndicate of mathematicians -- Robinson arithmetic -- How general are Gödel's results? -- Bits of turing machine -- G1 and G2 in general -- Unexpected fish in the formal net -- Supernatural numbers -- The culpability of the induction scheme -- Bits of truth (not too much of it, though) -- The world after Gödel -- Bourgeois mathematicians! : the postmodern interpretations -- What is postmodernism? -- From Gödel to Lenin -- Is biblical proof decidable? -- Speaking of the totality -- Bourgeois teachers! -- (un)interesting bifurcations -- A footnote to Plato -- Explorers in the realm of numbers -- The essence of a life -- The philosophical prejudices of our times -- From Gödel to Tarski -- Human, too human -- Mathematical faith -- I'm not crazy! -- Qualified doubts -- From gentzen to the dialectica interpretation -- Mathematicians are people of faith -- Mind versus computer : Gödel and artificial intelligence -- Is mind (just) a program? -- Seeing the truth and going outside the system -- The basic mistake -- In the haze of the transfinite -- Know thyself : Socrates and the inexhaustibility of mathematics -- Gödel versus wittgenstein and the paraconsistent interpretation -- When geniuses meet -- The implausible Wittgenstein -- There is no metamathematics -- Proof and prose -- The single argument -- But how can arithmetic be inconsistent? -- The costs and benefits of making Wittgenstein plausible. (shrink)
This short sketch of Gödel’s incompleteness proof shows how it arises naturally from Cantor’s diagonalization method . It renders Gödel’s proof and its relation to the semantic paradoxes transparent. Some historical details, which are often ignored, are pointed out. We also make some observations on circularity and draw brief comparisons with natural language. The sketch does not include the messy details of the arithmetization of the language, but the motives for it are made obvious. We suggest this as a (...) more efficient way to teach the topic than what is found in the standard textbooks. For the sake of self–containment Cantor’s original diagonalization is included. A broader and more technical perspective on diagonalization is given in [Gaifman 2005]. In  Cantor presented a new type of argument that shows that the set of all binary sequences (sequences of the form a0, a1,…,an,…, where each ai is either 0 or 1) is not denumerable ─ that is, cannot be arranged in a sequence, where the index ranges over the natural numbers. Let A0, A2,…An, … be a sequence of binary sequences. Say An = an,0, an,1, …, an,i, … . Define a new sequence A* = b0, b1,…,bn,… , by putting. (shrink)
"The Emperor's New Mind" by Roger Penrose has received a great deal of both praise and criticism. This review discusses philosophical aspects of the book that form an attack on the "strong" AI thesis. Eight different versions of this thesis are distinguished, and sources of ambiguity diagnosed, including different requirements for relationships between program and behaviour. Excessively strong versions attacked by Penrose (and Searle) are not worth defending or attacking, whereas weaker versions remain problematic. Penrose (like Searle) regards the notion (...) of an algorithm as central to AI, whereas it is argued here that for the purpose of explaining mental capabilities the architecture of an intelligent system is more important than the concept of an algorithm, using the premise that what makes something intelligent is not what it does but how it does it. What needs to be explained is also unclear: Penrose thinks we all know what consciousness is and claims that the ability to judge Go "del's formula to be true depends on it. He also suggests that quantum phenomena underly consciousness. This is rebutted by arguing that our existing concept of "consciousness" is too vague and muddled to be of use in science. This and related concepts will gradually be replaced by a more powerful theory-based taxonomy of types of mental states and processes. The central argument offered by Penrose against the strong AI thesis depends on a tempting but unjustified interpretation of Goedel's incompleteness theorem. Some critics are shown to have missed the point of his argument. A stronger criticism is mounted, and the relevance of mathematical Platonism analysed. Architectural requirements for intelligence are discussed and differences between serial and parallel implementations analysed. (shrink)
Let us recall that Raphael Robinson's Arithmetic Q is an axiom system that differs from Peano Arithmetic essentially by containing no Induction axioms , . We will generalize the semantic-tableaux version of the Second Incompleteness Theorem almost to the level of System Q. We will prove that there exists a single rather long Π 1 sentence, valid in the standard model of the Natural Numbers and denoted as V, such that if α is any finite consistent extension of Q (...) + V then α will be unable to prove its Semantic Tableaux consistency. The same result will also apply to axiom systems α with infinite cardinality when these infinite-sized axiom systems satisfy a minor additional constraint, called the Conventional Encoding Property. Our formalism will also imply that the semantic-tableaux version of the Second Incompleteness Theorem generalizes for the axiom system IΣ 0 , as well as for all its natural extensions. (This answers an open question raised twenty years ago by Paris and Wilkie .). (shrink)
Kurt Godel, the greatest logician of our time, startled the world of mathematics in 1931 with his Theorem of Undecidability, which showed that some statements in mathematics are inherently "undecidable." His work on the completeness of logic, the incompleteness of number theory, and the consistency of the axiom of choice and the continuum theory brought him further worldwide fame. In this introductory volume, Raymond Smullyan, himself a well-known logician, guides the reader through the fascinating world of Godel's incompleteness (...) theorems. The level of presentation is suitable for anyone with a basic acquaintance with mathematical logic. As a clear, concise introduction to a difficult but essential subject, the book will appeal to mathematicians, philosophers, and computer scientists. (shrink)
This paper is a summary of a lecture in which I presented some remarks on Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and their meaning for the foundations of physics. The entire lecture will appear elsewhere. doi: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.5007 / 1808-1711.2011v15n3p453.
What were the earliest reactions to Gödel's incompleteness theorems? After a brief summary of previous work in this area I analyse, by means of unpublished archival material, the first reactions in Vienna and Berlin to Gödel's groundbreaking results. In particular, I look at how Carnap, Hempel, von Neumann, Kaufmann, and Chwistek, among others, dealt with the new results.
The aim of this paper is to comprehensively question the validity of the standard way of interpreting Chaitin's famous incompleteness theorem, which says that for every formalized theory of arithmetic there is a finite constant c such that the theory in question cannot prove any particular number to have Kolmogorov complexity larger than c. The received interpretation of theorem claims that the limiting constant is determined by the complexity of the theory itself, which is assumed to be good measure (...) of the strength of the theory. I exhibit certain strong counterexamples and establish conclusively that the received view is false. Moreover, I show that the limiting constants provided by the theorem do not in any way reflect the power of formalized theories, but that the values of these constants are actually determined by the chosen coding of Turing machines, and are thus quite accidental. (shrink)
Gödel began his 1951 Gibbs Lecture by stating: “Research in the foundations of mathematics during the past few decades has produced some results which seem to me of interest, not only in themselves, but also with regard to their implications for the traditional philosophical problems about the nature of mathematics.” (Gödel 1951) Gödel is referring here especially to his own incompleteness theorems (Gödel 1931). Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem (as improved by Rosser (1936)) says that for any consistent formalized (...) system F, which contains elementary arithmetic, there exists a sentence GF of the language of the system which is true but unprovable in that system. Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem states that no consistent formal system can prove its own consistency. (shrink)
Gödel's two incompleteness theorems are among the most important results in modern logic, and have deep implications for various issues. They concern the limits of provability in formal axiomatic theories. The first incompleteness theorem states that in any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of arithmetic can be carried out, there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F. According to the second incompleteness theorem, such a (...) formal system cannot prove that the system itself is consistent (assuming it is indeed consistent). These results have had a great impact on the philosophy of mathematics and logic. There have been attempts to apply the results also in other areas of philosophy such as the philosophy of mind, but these attempted applications are more controversial. The present entry surveys the two incompleteness theorems and various issues surrounding them. (shrink)
We investigate what happens when ‘truth’ is replaced with ‘provability’ in Yablo’s paradox. By diagonalization, appropriate sequences of sentences can be constructed. Such sequences contain no sentence decided by the background consistent and sufficiently strong arithmetical theory. If the provability predicate satisfies the derivability conditions, each such sentence is provably equivalent to the consistency statement and to the Gödel sentence. Thus each two such sentences are provably equivalent to each other. The same holds for the arithmetization of the existential Yablo (...) paradox. We also look at a formulation which employs Rosser’s provability predicate. (shrink)
In this article I intend to show that certain aspects of the axiomatical structure of mathematical theories can be, by a phenomenologically motivated approach, reduced to two distinct types of idealization, the first-level idealization associated with the concrete intuition of the objects of mathematical theories as discrete, finite sign-configurations and the second-level idealization associated with the intuition of infinite mathematical objects as extensions over constituted temporality. This is the main standpoint from which I review Cantor’s conception of infinite cardinalities and (...) also the metatheoretical content of some later well-known theorems of mathematical foundations. These are, the Skolem-Löwenheim Theorem which, except for its importance as such, it is also chosen for an interpretation of the associated metatheoretical paradox (Skolem Paradox), and Gödel’s (first) incompletenessresult which, notwithstanding its obvious influence in the mathematical foundations, is still open to philosophical inquiry. On the phenomenological level, first-level and second-level idealizations, as above, are associated respectively with intentional acts carried out in actual present and with certain modes of a temporal constitution process. (shrink)
This article shows that in two respects, Gödel's incompleteness theorem strongly supports the arguments of Edgar Morin's complexity paradigm. First, from the viewpoint of the content of Gödel's theorem, the latter justifies the basic view of complexity paradigm according to which knowledge is a dynamic, unfinished process, and develops by way of self-criticism and self-transcendence. Second, from the viewpoint of the proof procedure of Gödel's theorem, the latter confirms the complexity paradigm's circular line of inference through which is formed (...) the all-round knowledge of a concrete object. (shrink)
I define T-schema deflationism as the thesis that a theory of truth for our language can simply take the form of certain instances of Tarski's schema (T). I show that any effective enumeration of these instances will yield as a dividend an effective enumeration of all truths of our language. But that contradicts Gödel's First Incompleteness Theorem. So the instances of (T) constituting the T-Schema deflationist's theory of truth are not effectively enumerable, which casts doubt on the idea that (...) the T-schema deflationist in any sense has a theory of truth. (The argument in section 2 of "Semantics for Deflationists" supercedes this paper.). (shrink)
In this paper I argue that it is more difficult to see how Godel's incompleteness theorems and related consistency proofs for formal systems are consistent with the views of formalists, mechanists and traditional intuitionists than it is to see how they are consistent with a particular form of mathematical realism. If the incompleteness theorems and consistency proofs are better explained by this form of realism then we can also see how there is room for skepticism about Church's Thesis (...) and the claim that minds are machines. (shrink)
In recent years a number of criticisms have been raised against the formal systems of mathematical logic. The latter, qualified as closed systems, have been contrasted with systems of a new kind, called open systems, whose main feature is that they are always subject to unanticipated outcomes in their operation and can receive new information from outside at any time [cf. Hewitt 1991]. While Gödel's incompleteness theorem has been widely used to refute the main contentions of Hilbert's program, it (...) does not seem to have been generally used to point out the inadequacy of a basic ingredient of that program - the concept of formal system as a closed system - and to stress the need to replace it by the concept of formal system as an open system. (shrink)
According to several commentators, Kurt Godel's incompleteness discoveries were assimilated promptly and almost without objection by his contemporaries - - a circumstance remarkable enough to call for explanation. Careful examination reveals, however, that there were doubters and critics, as well as defenders and rival claimants to priority. In particular, the reactions of Carnap, Bernays, Zermelo, Post, Finsler, and Russell, among others, are considered in detail. Documentary sources include unpublished correspondence from Godel's Nachlass.
Informal statements of Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem, referred to here as Informal Second Incompleteness, are simple and dramatic. However, current versions of Formal Second Incompleteness are complicated and awkward. We present new versions of Formal Second Incompleteness that are simple, and informally imply Informal Second Incompleteness. These results rest on the isolation of simple formal properties shared by consistency statements. Here we do not address any issues concerning proofs of Second Incompleteness.
According to Field’s influential incompleteness objection, Tarski’s semantic theory of truth is unsatisfactory since the definition that forms its basis is incomplete in two distinct senses: (1) it is physicalistically inadequate, and for this reason, (2) it is conceptually deficient. In this paper, I defend the semantic theory of truth against the incompleteness objection by conceding (1) but rejecting (2). After arguing that Davidson and McDowell’s reply to the incompleteness objection fails to pass muster, I argue that, (...) within the constraints of a non-reductive physicalism and a holism concerning the concepts of truth, reference and meaning, conceding Field’s physicalistic inadequacy conclusion while rejecting his conceptual deficiency conclusion is a promising reply to the incompleteness objection. (shrink)
In his groundbreaking book, Against Coherence (2005), Erik Olsson presents an ingenious impossibility theorem that appears to show that there is no informative relationship between probabilistic measures of coherence and higher likelihood of truth. Although Olsson's result provides an important insight into probabilistic models of epistemological coherence, the scope of his negative result is more limited than generally appreciated. The key issue is the role conditional independence conditions play within the witness testimony model Olsson uses to establish his (...)result. Olsson maintains that his witness model yields charitable ceteris paribus conditions for any theory of probabilistic coherence. Not so. In fact, Olsson's model, like Bayesian witness models in general, selects a peculiar class of models that are in no way representative of the range of options available to coherence theorists. Recent positive results suggest that there is a way to develop a formal theory of coherence after all. Further, although Bayesian witness models are not conducive to the truth, they are conducive to reliability. (shrink)
An interpretation of Wittgenstein’s much criticized remarks on Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem is provided in the light of paraconsistent arithmetic: in taking Gödel’s proof as a paradoxical derivation, Wittgenstein was drawing the consequences of his deliberate rejection of the standard distinction between theory and metatheory. The reasoning behind the proof of the truth of the Gödel sentence is then performed within the formal system itself, which turns out to be inconsistent. It is shown that the features of paraconsistent arithmetics (...) match with some intuitions underlying Wittgenstein’s philosophy of mathematics, such as its strict finitism and the insistence on the decidability of any mathematical question. (shrink)
The question whether distant simultaneity (relativized to an inertial frame) has a factual or a conventional status in special relativity has long been disputed and remains in contention even today. At one point it appeared that Malament (1977) had settled the issue by proving that the only non-trivial equivalence relation definable from (temporally symmetric) causal connectability is the standard simultaneity relation. Recently, though, Sarkar and Stachel (1999) claim to have identified a suspect assumption in the proof by defining a non-standard (...) simultaneity relation from causal connectability. I contend that their critique is based on a misunderstanding of the criteria for the definability of a relation, a misunderstanding that Malement's original treatment helped to foster. There are in fact a variety of notions of definability that can be brought to bear. They all, however, require a condition that suffices to secure Malament's result. The non-standard relation Sarkar and Stachel claim to be definable is not so definable, and, I argue, their proposal to modify the notion of ``causal definability'' is misguided. Finally, I address the relevance of Malament's result to the thesis of conventionalism. (shrink)
We prove the following algebraic characterization of elementary equivalence: $\equiv$ restricted to countable structures of finite type is minimal among the equivalence relations, other than isomorphism, which are preserved under reduct and renaming and which have the Robinson property; the latter is a faithful adaptation for equivalence relations of the familiar model theoretical notion. We apply this result to Friedman's fourth problem by proving that if L = L ωω (Q i ) i ∈ ω 1 is an (ω (...) 1 , ω)-compact logic satisfying both the Robinson consistency theorem on countable structures of finite type and the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem for some $\lambda for theories having ω 1 many sentences, then $\equiv_L = \equiv$ on such structures. (shrink)
The theory of games recently proposed by John C. Harsanyi in ‘A General Theory of Rational Behavior in Game Situations’, (Econometrica, Vol. 34, No. 3) has one anomalous feature, viz., that it generates for a special class of non-cooperative games solutions which are not equilibrium points. It is argued that this feature of the theory turns on an argument concerning the instability of weak equilibrium points, and that this argument, in turn, involves appeal to an unrestricted version of a postulate (...) subsequently included in the theory in restricted form. It is then shown that if this line of reasoning is permitted, then one must, by parity of reasoning, permit another instability argument. But, if both of these instability arguments are permitted in the construction of the theory, the resultant theory must be incomplete, in the sense that there will be simple non-cooperative games for which such a theory cannot yield solutions. This result is then generalized and shown to be endemic to all theories which have made the equilibrium condition central to the treatment of non-cooperative games. Some suggestions are then offered concerning how this incompleteness problem can be resolved, and what one might expect concerning the postulate structure and implications of a theory of games which embodies the revisions necessitated by a resolution of this problem. (shrink)
The historical background of the 19th century electromagnetic theory is revisited from the standpoint of the opposition between alternative approaches in respect to the problem of interactions. The 19th century electrodynamics became the battle-field of a paramount importance to test existing conceptions of interactions. Hertz’s experiments were designed to bring a solid experimental evidence in favor of one of them. The modern scientific method applied to analyze Hertz’s experimental approach as well as the analysis of his laboratory notes, dairy and (...) private letters show that Hertz’s ‘‘crucial’’ experiments cannot be considered as conclusive at many points as it is generally implied. We found that alternative Helmholtz’s electrodynamics did not contradict any of Hertz’s experimental observations of transverse components as Maxwell’s theory predicted. Moreover, as we now know from recently published Hertz’s dairy and private notes, his first experimental results indicated clearly on infinite rate of propagation. Nevertheless, Hertz’s experiments provided no further explicit information on non-local longitudinal components which were such an essential feature of Helmholtz’s theory. Necessary and sufficient conditions for a decisive choice on the adequate account of electromagnetic interactions are discussed from the position of modern scientific method. (shrink)
'God needs no instruments to act', Malebranche writes in Search 6.2.3; 'it suffices that He wills in order that a thing be, because it is a contradiction that He should will and that what He wills should not happen. Therefore, His power is His will' (450). After nearly identical language in Treatise 1.12, Malebranche writes that '[God's] wills are necessarily efficacious ... [H]is power differs not at all from [H]is will' (116). God's causal power, here, clearly traces only to His (...) volitions - not merely to the fact that He wills, but specifically to the content of His volitions ('"what" He wills'). Yet despite the obviously key role the ordinary notion of volitional content plays for Malebranche, recent writers have paid surprisingly little attention either to it or its exegetical implications. I hope to rectify this situation here. The plan of this paper is this: first, to borrow current work in the philosophy of mind to sketch the notion of an incomplete volition, i.e. one whose content is 'incomplete' in a sense to be explained; second, to show that Malebranche clearly allows and uses something like this notion; third, to apply the notion to Malebranche's doctrine of human freedom. In so doing, I believe, we can understand this doctrine in a new way, and one which: (i) is clearly consistent with his texts, and (ii) unlike other interpretations makes coherent sense out of the conflicting streams in his heroic attempt to reconcile his occasionalism - the doctrine that no finite substances have genuine causal powers - with our freedom; fourth, Contrast my interpretation with those of two recent writers: Sleigh et al. (1998) and Schmaltz (1996); and Fifth, Summarize the major results. (shrink)
What Gödel accomplished in the decade of the 1930s before joining the Institute changed the face of mathematical logic and continues to influence its development. As you gather from my title, I’ll be talking about the most famous of his results in that period, but first I want to indulge in some personal reminiscences. In many ways this is a sentimental journey for me. I was a member of the Institute in 1959-60, a couple of years after receiving my PhD (...) at the University of California in Berkeley, where I had worked with Alfred Tarski, another great logician. The subject of my dissertation was directly concerned with the method of arithmetization that Gödel had used to prove his theorems, and my main concern after that was to study systematic ways of overcoming incompleteness. Mathematical logic was going through a period of prodigious development in the 1950s and 1960s, and Berkeley and Princeton were two meccas for researchers in that field. For me, the prospect of meeting with Gödel and drawing on him for guidance and inspiration was particularly exciting. I didn’t know at the time what it took to get invited. Hassler Whitney commented for an obituary notice in 1978 that “it was hard to appoint a new member in logic at the Institute because Gödel could not prove to himself that a number of candidates shouldn’t be members, with the evidence at hand.” That makes it sound like the problem for Gödel was deciding who not to invite. Anyhow, I ended up being one of the lucky few. (shrink)
Roger Penrose is justly famous for his work in physics and mathematics but he is _notorious_ for his endorsement of the Gödel argument (see his 1989, 1994, 1997). This argument, first advanced by J. R. Lucas (in 1961), attempts to show that Gödel’s (first) incompleteness theorem can be seen to reveal that the human mind transcends all algorithmic models of it1. Penrose's version of the argument has been seen to fall victim to the original objections raised against Lucas (see (...) Boolos (1990) and for a particularly intemperate review, Putnam (1994)). Yet I believe that more can and should be said about the argument. Only a brief review is necessary here although I wish to present the argument in a somewhat peculiar form. (shrink)
Many different but related arguments developed in the Caritas in Veritate converge on one central, yet not clearly stated, conclusion or thesis: economic and business activities are ‘incomplete’. This article will explore the above-mentioned ‘incompleteness’ thesis or argument from three different perspectives: the role, the practice and the purpose of economic and business activities in contemporary societies. In doing so, the paper will heavily draw on questions and, still not fully learned, lessons derived from the present financial and economic (...) crisis. Caritas in Veritate provides an appealing moral framework in which many of these lessons take a deeper sense and a more comprehensive meaning. The notion of ‘incompleteness’ is applied here to economic and business theory and practice in the sense derived from Gödel’s theorems. They state in terms of logical and mathematical demonstrations that no system of axiomatic statements can provide a proof of its own consistency. Such a proof requires the use of statements belonging to another (higher) level system. In the case of economics or business theory and practice these ‘higher level’ statements are value judgments. By stressing the importance of ethics and moral philosophy for daily life, Caritas in Veritate strongly reminds us that neither economy nor business are self-sufficient either in organisational and social, practical or moral terms. (shrink)
It follows from Bell’s theorem and quantum mechanics that the detection of a particle of an entangled pair can (somehow) “force” the other distant particle of the pair into a well-defined state (which is equivalent to a reduction of the state vector): no property previously shared by the particles can explain the predicted quantum correlations. This result has been corroborated by experiment, although some loopholes still remain. However, it has not been experimentally proved—and it is far from obvious—that the (...) absence of detection, as in null-result (NR) experiments could have the very same effect. In this paper a way to try to bridge this gap is suggested. (shrink)
It is widely considered that Gödel’s and Rosser’s proofs of the incompleteness theorems are related to the Liar Paradox. Yablo’s paradox, a Liar-like paradox without self-reference, can also be used to prove Gödel’s first and second incompleteness theorems. We show that the situation with the formalization of Yablo’s paradox using Rosser’s provability predicate is different from that of Rosser’s proof. Namely, by using the technique of Guaspari and Solovay, we prove that the undecidability of each instance of Rosser-type (...) formalizations of Yablo’s paradox for each consistent but not Σ1-sound theory is dependent on the choice of a standard proof predicate. (shrink)
Given any simply consistent formal theory F of the state complexity L(S) of finite binary sequences S as computed by 3-tape-symbol Turing machines, there exists a natural number L(F ) such that L(S) > n is provable in F only if n < L(F ). On the other hand, almost all finite binary sequences S satisfy L(S) > L(F ). The proof resembles Berry’s..
In this paper it is argued that the opposition between the two main methods of mathematics, the axiomatic and the analytic method, is first of all an opposition between intuition and <span class='Hi'>discourse</span>, and, in addition, an opposition between the socalled demonstrative and non-demonstrative reasoning. These two methods, however, are not on a par because the view that the method of mathematics is the axiomatic method is refuted by Goedel's incompleteness results, which on the contrary do not affect (...) the view that the method of mathematics is the analytic method. (shrink)
The causal power of Malebranche's God is a function of the content of His will. Yet despite its significance for Malebranche, little exegetical attention has been paid to his notion of volitional content. In this paper I develop the notion of an 'incomplete' volition, note that Malebranche accepted and used something like it, and then examine Malebranche's natural theodicy in its light. This yields a new interpretation in which, unlike previous interpretations, Malebranche actually succeeds in reconciling his seemingly incompatible beliefs (...) that: (1) God alone is causally responsible for all natural states of affairs; (2) God's power is His will; (3) God wills to produce only goods; and yet (4) genuine evils exist. (shrink)
Does the quantum state represent reality or our knowledge of reality? In making this distinction precise, we are led to a novel classification of hidden variable models of quantum theory. We show that representatives of each class can be found among existing constructions for two-dimensional Hilbert spaces. Our approach also provides a fruitful new perspective on arguments for the nonlocality and incompleteness of quantum theory. Specifically, we show that for models wherein the quantum state has the status of something (...) real, the failure of locality can be established through an argument considerably more straightforward than Bell’s theorem. The historical significance of this result becomes evident when one recognizes that the same reasoning is present in Einstein’s preferred argument for incompleteness, which dates back to 1935. This fact suggests that Einstein was seeking not just any completion of quantum theory, but one wherein quantum states are solely representative of our knowledge. Our hypothesis is supported by an analysis of Einstein’s attempts to clarify his views on quantum theory and the circumstance of his otherwise puzzling abandonment of an even simpler argument for incompleteness from 1927. (shrink)
Gödel's second incompleteness theorem is proved for Herbrand consistency of some arithmetical theories with bounded induction, by using a technique of logarithmic shrinking the witnesses of bounded formulas, due to Z. Adamowicz [Herbrand consistency and bounded arithmetic, Fundamenta Mathematical vol. 171 (2002), pp. 279-292]. In that paper, it was shown that one cannot always shrink the witness of a bounded formula logarithmically, but in the presence of Herbrand consistency, for theories I∆₀+ Ωm, with m ≥ 2, any witness for (...) any bounded formula can be shortened logarithmically. This immediately implies the unprovability of Herbrand consistency of a theory T ⊇ I∆₀ + Ω₂ in t itself. In this paper, the above results are generalized for I∆₀ + Ω₁. Also after tailoring the definition of Herbrand consistency for I∆₀ we prove the corresponding theorems for I∆₀. Thus the Herbrand version of Gödel's second incompleteness theorem follows for the theories I∆₀ + Ω₁ and I∆₀. (shrink)
We examine some of Connes’ criticisms of Robinson’s infinitesimals starting in 1995. Connes sought to exploit the Solovay model S as ammunition against non-standard analysis, but the model tends to boomerang, undercutting Connes’ own earlier work in functional analysis. Connes described the hyperreals as both a “virtual theory” and a “chimera”, yet acknowledged that his argument relies on the transfer principle. We analyze Connes’ “dart-throwing” thought experiment, but reach an opposite conclusion. In S , all definable sets of reals are (...) Lebesgue measurable, suggesting that Connes views a theory as being “virtual” if it is not definable in a suitable model of ZFC. If so, Connes’ claim that a theory of the hyperreals is “virtual” is refuted by the existence of a definable model of the hyperreal field due to Kanovei and Shelah. Free ultrafilters aren’t definable, yet Connes exploited such ultrafilters both in his own earlier work on the classification of factors in the 1970s and 80s, and in Noncommutative Geometry, raising the question whether the latter may not be vulnerable to Connes’ criticism of virtuality. We analyze the philosophical underpinnings of Connes’ argument based on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and detect an apparent circularity in Connes’ logic. We document the reliance on non-constructive foundational material, and specifically on the Dixmier trace −∫ (featured on the front cover of Connes’ magnum opus) and the Hahn–Banach theorem, in Connes’ own framework. We also note an inaccuracy in Machover’s critique of infinitesimal-based pedagogy. (shrink)