[FOM] Gödel's Theorem & Hilbert, etc.

Joseph Hilton deglitcher at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 3 13:44:56 EDT 2008

I have been around a couple of weeks now and have enjoyed some of the postings very much.

I suspect that I hold the record for the oldest FOM newbie, having retired almost a decade ago.

My interests in foundational studies are nontechnical at this point in my life.  Among other things:

(1)  I would like to know if anyone on the FOM list has done any historical research on the informal reviews and discussions of Gödel's theorem before it was published, especially in regard to Hilbert's anticipation of just the opposite result.  It is my understanding from a conversation about 40 years ago that the theorem was being passed around and discussed extensively as early as 1929, but the person who told me that is no longer here for me to discuss the matter with.

(2)  I would also enjoy comments about personal reactions (your own or anyone else's) to Gödel's theorem, with special emphasis on similarities to or differences from the sense of anomaly that Hilbert must have experienced.  

(3)  And I am interested in the idea that concepts (like our concept of mathematics and of what constitutes a proper foundation for mathematics) are worldview dependent.  It would help me to know what FOM members think about this possibility and its implications. 

I would appreciate a private email or a posting to this thread, if anyone has anything to share on these matters.

Joe Hilton

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