[FOM] Re: Freeman Dyson on Inexhaustibility

praatika@mappi.helsinki.fi praatika at mappi.helsinki.fi
Sat May 15 06:32:38 EDT 2004

Lainaus Martin Davis <martin at eipye.com>:

> Don Fallis wrote about Dyson invoking G\"odel's incompleteness theorem to 
> proclaim "the inexhaustibility of physics".  It should be noted that
> Dyson  uses this argument to deny the possibility of a "theory of
> everything", that is, a physical theory that would encompass all physical 
> phenomena.

Interestingly, similar claims have been apparently made by Popper (a 
distiguished philosopher of science), in "Scientific reduction and the 
essential incompleteness of all science", in F. Ayla and T. Dobzhansky 
(ed.) Studies in the Philosophy of Biology, MacMillan, London, 1974, 259-84.

He has been critisized by Joseph Wayne Smith, "Popper, Godel's theorem and 
the essential incompleteness of all science", Indian Philosophical 
Quarterly. AP 83; 10: 309-310.

Unfortunately, I can't access either paper - I've just seen the abstract of 
the latter. 

Does anyone know either of these papers? At least I would be interested in 
hearing about their content.



Panu Raatikainen

PhD., Docent in Theoretical Philosophy
Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
University of Helsinki
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

E-mail: panu.raatikainen at helsinki.fi

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