Objections to the Gödelian Argument

J. R. Lucas

in The Freedom of the Will

Published in print September 1970 | ISBN: 9780198243434
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680687 | DOI:
Objections to the Gödelian Argument

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The application of Gödel's theorem to refute physical determinism has been much criticized. The objections fall into three groups. It is objected, first, that too formal and deductive a characterization of human reasoning has been given: Gödel's theorem may apply to a calculus of deductive inferences, but most human thinking is informal and not confined to deductive patterns. Secondly the argument itself is often misconstrued. It is a so-called ‘dialectical’ argument, and it depends on a certain interplay between formal and intuitive elements, and many critics have missed the point. It is possible to reconstruct the argument more formally, but then there are a third group of objections to the use made of the notions of consistency and truth.

Keywords: Gödel; physical determinism; truth

Chapter.  1851 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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