Journal Article

After Gödel: Mechanism, Reason, and Realism in the Philosophy of Mathematics†

Richard Tieszen

in Philosophia Mathematica

Volume 14, issue 2, pages 229-254
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0031-8019
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1744-6406 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/philmat/nkj008
After Gödel: Mechanism, Reason, and Realism in the Philosophy of Mathematics†

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In his 1951 Gibbs Lecture Gödel formulates the central implication of the incompleteness theorems as a disjunction: either the human mind infinitely surpasses the powers of any finite machine or there exist absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems (of a certain type). In his later writings in particular Gödel favors the view that the human mind does infinitely surpass the powers of any finite machine and there are no absolutely unsolvable diophantine problems. I consider how one might defend such a view in light of Gödel's remark that one can turn to ideas in Husserlian transcendental phenomenology to show that the human mind ‘contains an element totally different from a finite combinatorial mechanism’.

one of the things that attract us most when we apply ourselves to a mathematical problem is precisely that within us we always hear the call: here is the problem, search for the solution; you can find it by pure thought, for in mathematics there is no ignorabimus.

David Hilbert, 1926

Journal Article.  11242 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Mathematics

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