Mar 14, 2011 | By George Gantz
The Nature of Truth
Dealing with truth can be tricky. Some interesting resources are listed below, all of which provide important insights.
From The Philospher’s Zone with Alan Saunders at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/podcasts/feeds/pze.xml: Kurt Godel, January 15, 2011. A discussion of the life and discoveries of Kurt Godel, one of the foremost mathematicians and logicians of the 20th century, best know for his incompleteness theorems which reveal that there are “blind spots” in mathematics which formal proof is unable to resolve.
From Philosophy Bites www.philosphybites.com. Michael Dummett on Frege, from, October 7, 2010. Gottlob Frege was one of the founders of the movement known as analytic philosophy. Michael Dummett explains why his ideas about how language relate to the world have been so important.
Rudy Rucker, Infinity and the Mind: The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite. 2004.
In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker leads an excursion to that stretch of the universe he calls the “Mindscape,” where he explores infinity in all its forms: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, theological and mundane. Rucker acquaints us with Gödel’s rotating universe, in which it is theoretically possible to travel into the past, and explains an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which billions of parallel worlds are produced every microsecond. It is in the realm of infinity, he maintains, that mathematics, science, and logic merge with the fantastic. By closely examining the paradoxes that arise from this merging, we can learn a great deal about the human mind, its powers, and its limitations.
Marilynne Robinson, Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self. 2010.
In this book, the author probes key topics in science, religion, and consciousness, challenging the “parascientific” crusade against religion under the banner of science. In Robinson’s view, scientific reasoning does not denote a sense of logical infallibility, as thinkers like Richard Dawkins might suggest. Instead, science is a search for answers. It engages the problem of knowledge, an aspect of the mystery of consciousness, but does not offer anything approaching a final model. Robinson explores the power and variety of human consciousness and the nature of subjectivity, placing human consciousness at the center of the religion-science debate.
Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, 1979.
A remarkable and far-ranging book linking themes in mathematics, music and art, described by the author as “a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll”. The book examines logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach, discussing common themes in their work and lives, using this material to explore concepts fundamental to mathematics, symmetry, and intelligence.
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