[FOM] Godel's First Incompleteness Theorem as it possibly relates to Physics
Tero Tulenheimo
tero.tulenheimo at helsinki.fi
Fri Oct 10 18:45:03 EDT 2008
> Why doesn't Godel's 1st Incompleteness Theorem imply the
> incompleteness of any theory of physics T, assuming that T is
> consistent and uses arithmetic? Shouldn't the constructors of the
> Theory of Everything be alarmed?
If the goal of the constructors of the Theory of Everything is to
obtain a recursive enumeration of all truths about the universe, they
should be alarmed. But perhaps they should rather be seen as aiming at
formulating a categorical higher-order theory (hence "descriptively
complete" w.r.t. the universe). (Certainly the theory should also meet
various more specialized criteria.) The impression that Goedel's
theorem would have crucial relevance here may stem from two sources:
(i) thinking that all decent theorizing should be carried out in
first-order terms; (ii) thinking that scientific theories must be
associated with a (complete) mechanical procedure for symbol
manipulation, yielding precisely the true sentences as outputs.
Regards,
Tero Tulenheimo
More information about the FOM
mailing list