Yearly Archives: 2011

Going, gone

The main road west from Cambridge used to go down the main street of the market town of St. Neots. But there has long since been a bypass, and it is quite a while since I’ve turned off to take … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 1 Comment

KGFM 20, 21: Woodin on the transfinite, Wigderson on P vs NP

And so, finally, to the last two papers in KGFM. I can be brief, though the papers aren’t. The first is Hugh Woodin’s ‘The Transfinite Universe’. This inevitably mentions Gödel’s constructible universe L a few times, but otherwise the connection … Continue reading

Posted in Phil. of maths | 2 Comments

KGFM 19: Cohen’s interactions with Gödel

The next paper in KGFM is a short talk by the late Paul Cohen, ‘My Interaction with Kurt Gödel: The Man and His Work’. The title is full of promise, but there seems relatively little new here. For Cohen had … Continue reading

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The Book Problem

Hello. My name is Peter and I am a bookaholic … Well, perhaps it isn’t quite as bad as that. But I’ve certainly bought far too many books over the years. Forty-five years as a grad student and a lecturer, … Continue reading

Posted in Books | 3 Comments

KGFM 17, 18: Kohlenbach and Friedman

Next up in Kurt Gödel and the Foundations of Mathematics is Ulrich Kohlenbach, writing on ‘Gödel’s Functional Interpretation and Its Use in Current Mathematics’. This rachets up the technical level radically, and will be pretty inaccessible to most readers (certainly, … Continue reading

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KGFM 16: Penrose on minds and computers

Stewart Shapiro has had two shots at exploring the troubles with Lucas/Penrose-style arguments, first in his well-known paper ‘Incompleteness, Mechanism and Optimism’ Bull. Symb. Logic (1998), and then — expanding his treatment of Penrose’s efforts in Shadows of the Mind … Continue reading

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KGFM 15: Putnam on minds and computers

In his 1967 paper, ‘God, the Devil, and Gödel’, Paul Benacerraf famously gives a nice argument, going via Gödel’s Second Theorem, that proves that either my mathematical knowledge can’t be simulated by some computing machine (there is no particular Turing … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Phil. of maths | 1 Comment

Leonardo at the National Gallery

Bother. All pre-bookable tickets for the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery are sold out from now to the end of the show in February. It would have been good to go a second time. But at least … Continue reading

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The Pavel Haas Quartet again [updated]

Driving back and forth to the town dump with a load of garden waste, I unexpectedly caught on the radio  — with an innocent ear — a concert performance of (most of) the first Rasumovsky quartet. It was stunningly good. … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Pavel Haas Qt | 2 Comments

Three philosophy jobs in Cambridge

Three lectureships have been advertised, and the details are here. No, this isn’t the wildly overdue expansion of the Cambridge philosophy faculty from an establishment of twelve (as it has been for thirty years). I’ve already retired, Jane Heal retires … Continue reading

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