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The Freedom of the Will$
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J. R. Lucas

Print publication date: 1970

Print ISBN-13: 9780198243434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.001.0001

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Reflections on the Gödelian Argument

Reflections on the Gödelian Argument

Chapter:
(p.164) §29 Reflections on the Gödelian Argument
Source:
The Freedom of the Will
Author(s):

J. R. LUCAS

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.003.0029

Gödel's theorem enables us to crystallize out our intuitive notions and intimations of freedom in such a way that we can be sure that they apply to any form of physical determinism, however it may be articulated. Gödel's theorem provides a spanner rather than a premiss. It enables us to formulate the objection we felt to the determinist's maintaining that what he said was true, in spite of his being determined, in a way which is not liable to the charge of meaninglessness that can be made against most self-referential arguments. And because Gödel's theorem is an entirely formal result it applies to all reductive analyses of human behaviour in terms of rule-bound descriptions and regularity explanations, in whatever form they are put forward. They, just because they are rule-bound, cannot cope with the Gödelian formula, whereas we, since we are not, can.

Keywords:   Gödel, Gödelian theorem, freedom, physical determinism

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