17.694 more on Hilbert's Program and Gödel's reflections

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Mar 09 2004 - 03:24:37 EST

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 694.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 08:14:20 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: more on Hilbert's Program and Gödel's reflections

Those who have some interest in 20C mathematics relevant to computing will
be interested in a fine and reasonably non-technical essay by Solomon
Feferman (Stanford), "Deciding the Undecidable: Wrestling with Hilbert's
Problems", in his book In the Light of Logic (Oxford, 1998), pp. 3-27, of
which a draft is online at
http://math.stanford.edu/~feferman/papers/deciding.pdf. There are several
other items of interest in his online collection, at

There would appear to be very little available on Gödel's interest in
phenomenology, at least within the English-speaking world. Are other worlds
richer in this regard? I recently ran across a useful piece by Richard
Tieszen, "Kurt Gödel and Phenomenology", Philosophy of Science 59.2 (1992),
pp. 176-94 (on JSTOR), but this is prior to publication of Gödel's
Nachlass, in the Unpublished Essays and Lectures (Oxford, 2001), which I
reported on earlier. It would seem to me that the philosophical
implications of the failure of Hilbert's Program (at least, as the cautious
say, in the terms in which it was originally set out) and speculations on
the road ahead, including Gödel's, could be quite significant for us.
Further suggestions most welcome.


Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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