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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

(p.164) §29 Reflections on the Gödelian Argument
The Freedom of the Will


Oxford University Press

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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