Monthly Archives: October 2009

Gödel Without Tears — 3

Here’s the third episode (slightly updated to take account of some initial comments). Not anywhere near so exciting as the first two — but after all that arm-waving generality, we do need to get our hands dirty looking at some … Continue reading

Posted in Gödel's theorems | 7 Comments

The Autonomy of Mathematical Knowledge — Chap. 1

As I said, I’m planning to blog, chapter by chapter, about Curtis Franks’s new book on Hilbert, The Autonomy of Mathematical Knowledge (all page references are to this book). Any comments on my comments will of course be welcome! Let’s … Continue reading

Posted in Phil. of maths | 3 Comments

Curtis Franks: The Autonomy of Mathematical Knowledge

On Saturday, from the new books stand the CUP bookshop, I picked up a copy of Curtis Franks’s The Autonomy of Mathematical Knowledge: Hilbert’s Program Revisited. Two quick grumbles. First, the book is short: just a hundred and ninety very … Continue reading

Posted in Phil. of maths | 2 Comments

Gödel Without Tears — 2

As promised, Episode 2 of Gödel Without Tears (in which we prove sufficiently strong theories are undecidable and incomplete — just like that!) As explained, I’m writing these notes as just-after-the-event handouts for weekly lectures. And each week I’ll be … Continue reading

Posted in Gödel's theorems | 5 Comments

Modal logic, with a lot more tears than necessary

The logic crew were minded to do some more modal logic. And, casting around for a modern book that might link up with recent stuff on e.g. second order modal logic, I suggested that in our reading group we tried … Continue reading

Posted in Logic | 1 Comment

Gödel Without Tears — 1

Here, as promised, is the first of a series of lecture handouts (roughly weekly, and about twelve in all) encouragingly titled Gödel Without Tears — 1. As is the way with lecture handouts, this was dashed off at great speed, … Continue reading

Posted in Gödel's theorems | 5 Comments

Gowers’s conversation about complexity lower bounds

I should have mentioned before that Tim Gowers’s blog is running installments of a “conversation” on complexity lower bounds. It’s structured as a dialogue between three characters, a cheerful mathematical optimist who likes to suggest approaches to problems, a more … Continue reading

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Mullova/Dantone play Bach

The Bach recital that Viktoria Mullova gave at the Wigmore Hall last week was simply terrific. Up there with my all-time great concerts, including some Brendel, Holzmair singing Die Schöne Müllerin, and the Lindsays (often). Mullova finished up playing the … Continue reading

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Oh, the delights of term again ….

Well, that’s the beginning of term survived, and I hope to pick up the philosophical threads here next week. It’s been back to first year logic lectures, for what I guess — with retirement looming — will be the penultimate … Continue reading

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