Monthly Archives: December 2009

There’s Something about Gödel, Chs 10 & 11

After a couple of rather unsatisfactory philosophical chapters, Berto does quite a bit better in the next two. (Which is good, because these comments were getting unseasonably grumpy!) Ch. 10 is called “Mathematical Faith”, and discusses what we should learn … Continue reading

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There’s Something about Gödel, Ch. 9

Chapter 9 of There’s Something about Gödel is about Platonism. There are two tricky issues here — first getting clear about what Gödel’s own views were and how they changed over the decades between 1931 and his late philosophical papers, … Continue reading

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There’s Something about Gödel, Ch. 8

The first seven chapters of Berto’s book are exposition of the formalities: I’ve said my piece on those. The last five chapters are philosophical essays, which can be read independently of the particular preceding exposition, as long as you know … Continue reading

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As we know, God hates f*gs

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There’s Something about Gödel, Chs 5–7

Berto’s book is cheerfully sub-titled “The complete guide to the incompleteness theorem”. That, I take it, is a joke. But he is perhaps trying to give a sense of how it can be proved in roughly Gödel’s way, which is … Continue reading

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There’s Something about Gödel, Chs 1–4

A number of people have now asked me what I think of the fairly new There’s Something About Gödel by Francesco Berto. Well, I’ve been meaning to look at the book anyway: I’m teaching a course on incompleteness in NZ … Continue reading

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A chill wind coming

It’s hardly the most important world news. But the UK university cuts announced a couple of days ago will mean a pretty bleak time for universities. Sure, more money has gone into universities here in recent years, but then so … Continue reading

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The Autonomy of Mathematics, §3.4

Hilbert’s consistency proof in the Foundations of Mathematics is model-theoretic. But of course the later Hilbert seeks consistency proofs that don’t depend on model-construction: what then are the resources can be brought to bear in syntactic proof-theory? Well, §3.4 on … Continue reading

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Imogen Cooper’s Schubert continues …

Six months ago — oh, where has the time between fled to? — I very warmly recommended the first volume of Imogen Cooper’s new cycle of live recordings of the later Schubert piano music. The second volume has been out … Continue reading

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Why Miss Jones …

It’s all been a bit serious here lately, what with Hilbert and Gödel, visits to the Louvre, and rereading Emma. But it isn’t all high culture in the Smith household. Oh no. The last couple of days we’ve been laughing … Continue reading

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