Philosophy

Discussion

Minds, Machines and Godel:

F. H. Georgea1

a1 University of Bristol.

I Would like to draw attention to the basic defect in the argument used by Mr J. R. Lucas (Minds, Machines and Gödel, Philosophy, July 1961, p. 112).

Mr Lucas there states that Gödel's theorem shows that any consistent formal system strong enough to produce arithmetic fails to prove, within its own structure, theorems that we, as humans (‘minds’), can nevertheless see to be true. From this he argues that ‘minds’ can do more than machines, since machines are essentially formal systems of this same type, and subject to the limitation implied by Godel's theorem.