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KANT'S CAVE: Gödel and incompleteness (Richard Baron)

On the first Wednesday of every month the PFA meets at "Kant’s Cave" for a lecture, debate and social evening, normally in the upstairs bar of the Exmouth Arms at 1 Starcross Street, London NW1 2HR. The Exmouth Arms is in a quiet residential street about five minutes walk from Warren Street, Euston and Euston Square stations.

This evening's speaker is Richard Baron. His title is "Gödel and incompleteness". He will explain what Gödel's incompleteness theorems say, how we get to them, and why they matter. He will do this in everyday English, without logical or mathematical symbols. His website is here:

The idea of using the function room of a pub for our philosophy meetings is that we would like to combine serious philosophical activity with an informal exchange of ideas and views. We therefore invite everybody to stay on after the lectures for more talk and debate. The downstairs part of the pub is open all evening. Our room, on the first floor, is available from 7 pm, and the lecture starts at 7.30 pm.

If you have joined Philosophy for All (the organization, not just this Meetup group), and paid your annual subscription (£12 by standing order), there is no charge. But if you have not joined, we do ask for £2 as a contribution towards the cost of hiring the room. You can join PFA using this link:

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  • Austin

    Did a great job with a difficult topic. Well Done

    July 3, 2014

  • Richard B.

    The handout is here:

    The full version (much longer than the talk) is here:

    If these do not show up as clickable links, you can cut and paste them into your browser's address bar.

    July 2, 2014

    • Richard B.

      Now I have posted the comment, I can see they do become links, but the tail ends get hidden from view. If you want the tail ends for any reason, the parts after the last visible / are:



      July 2, 2014

  • Fed

    upps! to late for me now... I am leaving my job now... next time for sure!

    July 2, 2014

  • Kirsten L.

    how long is the lecture? I am now unfortunately going to be late.

    July 2, 2014

    • Richard B.

      The lecture itself starts at 7.30. It will last for about 45 minutes. Then we have questions and discussion, for another 30 to 45 minutes, so down to about 9 pm. After that, people do stay on to chat, and I shall be available to answer more questions.

      July 2, 2014

    • Kirsten L.

      ok, thank you. I will un-rsvp as I don't think I would get there before 8pm, at the earliest. I look forward to joining you another time.

      July 2, 2014

  • Richard A

    Very sorry to miss this interesting talk.

    July 2, 2014

  • Tim

    The second from left person in the picture is apparently Lewis L. Strauss (not Stauss -- you'd expect better proof reading in Britannica!).

    He played a significant role in the denouncement of Oppenheimer in 1954. Probably not someone you'd like to have as a friend.

    July 2, 2014

  • bill t.

    I was hoping to attend but cannot do so, but offer this contribution in the form of two books, Hofstadter, Douglas R. (1999 (1979)). Gödel, Escher, Bach. Basic Books, and Mitchell M, Complexity a Guided Tour, Oxford University Press, New York New York, 2011, which popularise the theme, I found them helpful when I read them

    July 2, 2014

  • Richard B.

    Anja has kindly supplied the photograph above. It dates from 1951. From left to right we have Einstein, someone I have not identified, Gödel and Julian Schwinger. The occasion is the award of the Einstein Prize to Gödel and Schwinger.

    July 1, 2014

  • Paul C.

    During my phil studies I was starting to suspect Gödel's incompleteness theorem might have a big role to play. Would be good to learn more about it as I only have a rudimentary acquaintance with it.

    June 22, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    So glad to hear a talk on this! In my opinion Gödel's theorem is the most earthshaking discovery of modern times. Not relativity, not quantum mechanics, not silicon, not computers. My guess is that it is so hugely overlooked because it is a bit tough to fully digest its philosophical consequences.

    June 7, 2014

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