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Metamathematics and the Philosophy of Mind

Judson Webb
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 35, No. 2 (Jun., 1968), pp. 156-178
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/186484
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Metamathematics and the Philosophy of Mind
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Abstract

The metamathematical theorems of Gödel and Church are frequently applied to the philosophy of mind, typically as rational evidence against mechanism. Using methods of Post and Smullyan, these results are presented as purely mathematical theorems and various such applications are discussed critically. In particular, J. Lucas's use of Gödel's theorem to distinguish between conscious and unconscious beings is refuted, while more generally, attempts to extract philosophy from metamathematics are shown to involve only dramatizations of the constructivity problem in foundations. More specifically, philosophical extrapolations from metamathematics are shown to involve premature extensions of Church's thesis.

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