Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tennenbaum’s Theorem Workshop

Sean Walsh organized a one-day workshop on the philosophical significance of Tennenbaum’s Theorem on Saturday. It kicked off with me presenting a short piece that Tim Button and I have forthcoming in Philosophia Mathematica: here’s a preprint of our paper. … Continue reading

Posted in Logic | 1 Comment

Santa’s singleton

Here’s a question which I’m sure bugs all my logical readers. Modern mathematics standardly recognises partial functions which can take something as input but deliver nothing as output (like the reciprocal function which isn’t defined for zero). Do we also … Continue reading

Posted in Logic | 3 Comments

KGFM 9, 10: Gödelian cosmology, Rindler and Svozil

The next piece is ‘Gödel, Einstein, Mach, Gamow, and Lanczos: Gödel’s Remarkable Excursion into Cosmology’ by Wolfgang Rindler. Rindler’s books on Relativity are real classics of exposition, so I was hoping for good things from this paper. I wasn’t disappointed. As Rindler says, Gödel … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Phil. of maths | 1 Comment

Stefan Collini on the very idea of a university.

I much admire Stefan Collini’s writing on the current situation in UK universities (see here, for example). He has a book forthcoming next year What are Universities For? which should be a major event at least for academics struggling to … Continue reading

Posted in Academic life | Leave a comment

KGFM 7, 8: Computers and computation, Papadimitriou and Copeland

Looking at the postings on KGFM, I’ve been pretty negative so far. Sorry! OK, Macintyre’s paper is indeed a tour de force but is for a pretty specialized reader. Otherwise I can only really recommend Feferman’s paper. Am I being … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Phil. of maths | 2 Comments

KGFM 4, 5, 6: More history, from Sigmund, Kennedy, and Feferman

I should have explained that Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics is divided into three main parts, ‘Historical Context’, ‘A Wider Vision: the Interdisciplinary, Philosophical and Theological Implications of Gödel’s Work’, and ‘New Frontiers: Beyond Gödel’s Work in Mathematics … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Phil. of maths | 1 Comment

Touched by greatness

A very moving concert last night. In the small Peterhouse Theatre (a lovely space for intimate music), Menahem Pressler played Beethoven’s A-flat major sonata, Op. 110, Debussy’s Estampes, and then Schubert’s last piano sonata D. 960. He talked touchingly at the beginning … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Pavel Haas Qt | Leave a comment

KGFM 2, 3: Kreisel and Grattan-Guinness

The second paper in the collection is a seven-page ramble by Georg Kreisel, followed by twenty pages of mostly opaque endnotes. This reads in many places like a cruel parody of the later Kreisel’s oracular/allusive style. I lost patience very … Continue reading

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KGFM 1: Macintyre on the impact of incompleteness on maths

I’m going to be reviewing the recently published collection Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics edited by Baaz, Papadimitriou, Putnam, Scott and Harper, for Philosophia Mathematica. This looks to a really pretty mixed bag, as is usual with volumes … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Gödel's theorems, Phil. of maths | Leave a comment

Thanks to Orlando May

I’m getting back down to work on the second edition of An Introduction to Gödel’s Theorems. One thing I plan to do is to put up some pages of exercises as I go along, which I’ve been meaning to do … Continue reading

Posted in Gödel's theorems | 2 Comments