Monthly Archives: August 2007

Philosophical atheists

I must not buy more books. I must not buy more books. Well, that’s what I try to tell myself in bookshops, but to little avail. Today, having sat in Heffers for half-an-hour or more reading the first couple of … Continue reading

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Three books

“God has all possible perfections.” Ah yes, I would say sagely (in first-year supervisions of yesteryear), so He has perfect conductivity, perfect insulation, 20/20 eyesight and a first-class honours in social anthropology … The joke, of course, is Michael Frayn’s. … Continue reading

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Corrections page started

Following on from the last post, I have started a corrections page on the Gödel book’s website.

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Staring in disbelief …

Sigh. Glancing through Chapter 22 of my Gödel book late last night, my eye was caught by a sentence on p. 197. I stared in disbelief. It says that ACA0 is the second-order theory you get when you restrict the … Continue reading

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Forthcoming book of interviews on philosophy of mathematics

I stumbled across a link to this, announcing a forthcoming book Philosophy of Mathematics, 5 Questions, in which a pretty impressive line-up of people (from Jeremy Avigad, Steve Awodey, John L. Bell alphabetically through to Philip Welch, Crispin Wright, and … Continue reading

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Gödel forums

The comment on the last post prompts me to get round to doing what I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I’ve set up a forum at for discussion of my Gödel book. This is very much an … Continue reading

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Eat your heart out again

As a bit of a break from absolute generality, I’ve just started reading Melvin Fitting’s short book Incompleteness in the Land of Sets. I’ll write some comments here when I’ve finished it (which shouldn’t take long, as there are just … Continue reading

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Normal philosophical service will be resumed soon. Too soon … But meanwhile, if you get a chance to sample Dievole’s “Novecento” Chianto Classico riserva 2003, then you really should splurge out on a bottle! (Recommended after an excellent afternoon’s wine-tasting … Continue reading

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Absolute Generality 7: Hellman on talking donkeys

The final section of Hellman’s paper is called ‘Making do with “less”‘, and concerns strategies that the sceptic about the coherence of absolutely general quantification can use to makes sense of (true!) assertions like ‘there are no talking donkeys’ or … Continue reading

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Negative Type Theory

Stephen Simpson repeatedly talks about certain subsystems of second-order arithmetic as ‘natural’ or as ‘arising naturally’ (SOAS, e.g. pp. 33, 43, etc.). In a similar context, John Burgess contrasts ‘artificial examples’ with ‘theories that it is natural to consider’ (Fixing … Continue reading

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