[FOM] The Lucas-Penrose Thesis

ravi narayan sarma ravinsarma at gmail.com
Mon Oct 2 13:39:41 EDT 2006

Dear FOM,

with regards the ongoing discussion on Penrose, perhaps members might
find the following review of "Shadows of the Mind" by Daryl McColough of


> 8 Conclusion
> 8.1 Penrose's arguments that our reasoning can't be formalized is in
> some sense correct. There is no way to formalize our own reasoning
> and be absolutely certain that the resulting theory is sound and
> consistent. However, this turns out not to be a limitation on what
> computers or formal systems can accomplish relative to humans.
> Instead, it is an intrinsic limitation in our abilities to reason
> about our own reasoning process. To the extent that we understand our
> own reasoning, we can't be certain that it is sound, and to the
> extent that we know we are sound, we don't understand our reasoning
> well enough to formalize it. This limitation is not due to lack of
> intelligence on our part, but is inherent in any reasoning system
> that is capable of reasoning about itself.



More information about the FOM mailing list