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Topic: Matheology § 153
Replies: 1   Last Post: Nov 17, 2012 12:46 PM

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mueckenh@rz.fh-augsburg.de

Posts: 14,964
Registered: 1/29/05
Matheology § 153
Posted: Nov 17, 2012 2:36 AM
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Matheology § 153

A charismatic speaker well-known for his clarity and wit, he once
delivered a lecture giving an account of Gödel's second incompleteness
theorem, employing only words of one syllable.
[George Boolos: "Gödel's Second Incompleteness Theorem - Explained in
Words of One Syllable", Mind, 103, Jan. 1994, p. 1ff]
http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Math/Milnikel/boolos-godel.pdf
At the end of his viva, Hilary Putnam asked him, "And tell us, Mr.
Boolos, what does the analytical hierarchy have to do with the real
world?" Without hesitating Boolos replied, "It's part of it". {{If
present at that illustrious moment I would have added another
question: And tell us, Mr. Boolos, does every part of the real world
have to observe its constraints? Unfortunately we don't know the
answer. But the constraints of the speech would have been kept by a
simple "yes".}}
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boolos

The talk ended:
So, if math is not a lot of bunk, then, though it can't be proved that
two plus two is five, it can't be proved that it can't be proved that
two plus two is five.
By the way, in case you'd like to know: yes, it can be proved that
if it can be proved that it can't be proved that two plus two is five,
then it can be proved that two plus two is five. {{Spelled out
clearly: If math is not a lot of bunk, then math is a lot of bunk. And
this obvious nonsense not only has been accepted in matheology, but is
sacred as a touchstone of the intellectual capacity of their disciples
and as a fixing of their belief in finished infinity. - Because, as
Gödel himself already noted, without actual infinity his theorems are
invalid.}}

Regards, WM



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