On this Home Page you will find various kinds of information, such as bibliographies, announcements of our annual meeting and the closing date for applications to our issues.

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On this Home Page you will find various kinds of information, such as bibliographies, announcements of our annual meeting and the closing date for applications to our issues.

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Philosophy since the Enlightenment

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The Kurt Gödel Society is an international organization for the promotion of research in the areas of Logic, Philosophy, History of Mathematics,

above all in connection with the biography of Kurt Gödel, and in other areas

to which Gödel made contributions, especially mathematics, physics, theology, philosophy - Kurt Gödel was part of the so-called 'Schlick circle', the core of the Vienna Circle, as he was a member of the faculty of the University of Vienna-, and Leibniz studies.

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At first sight, the designation of the topic of this special issue, "MIND <> COMPUTER", also transcribed as "Mind NOT EQUAL Computer", looks like a piece of computer ideology, a line of some dogmatic code. But there are as yet no convincing artificial animals, much less androids, and computers are not yet ready for the unrestricted Turing test. Although they show a high degree of proficiency in some very specific tasks, computers are still far behind humans in their general cognitive abilities. Much more, and in much more technical detail, is known about computers than about humans and their minds. Thus, the required comparison between minds and computers does not even seem possible, much less capable of being stated in such a simple formula.

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The philosophy of mathematics is the philosophical study of the concepts and methods of mathematics. It is concerned with the nature of numbers, geometric objects, and other mathematical concepts; it is concerned with their cognitive origins and with their application to reality. It addresses the validation of methods of mathematical inference. In particular, it deals with the logical problems associated with mathematical infinitude.

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Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) has been called the greatest logician since Aristotle. He was unquestionably the greatest logician of the 20th century, which has been the greatest century for logic since Aristotle's. Despite this stature, his name is little known outside professional circles of logic and mathematics, and astonishingly little is known about his life. His low profile cannot be due to the fact that his major achievements are complex and demanding, unintelligible to the uninitiated, for that is also true of his best friend, Albert Einstein. Nor can it be that Gödel was more conventional than Einstein. He did comb his hair and wear socks, but Gödel's reclusive and reserved personality, thin owlish appearance, forbidding glances, hypochondria, and paranoia are at least as easy to romanticize as Einstein's eccentricities. Part of the cause of his narrower fame must lie in the fact that Einstein's theories were acclaimed as triumphs, while the initial judgment on Gödel's theorems was that they constituted a first-rate calamity for logic and mathematics.

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If this Discourse appear too long to be read at once, it may be divided into six Parts: and, in the first, will be found various considerations touching the Sciences; in the second, the principal rules of the Method which the Author has discovered, in the third, certain of the rules of Morals which he has deduced from this Method; in the fourth, the reasonings by which he establishes the existence of God and of the Human Soul, which are the foundations of his Metaphysic; in the fifth, the order of the Physical questions which he has investigated, and, in particular, the explication of the motion of the heart and of some other difficulties pertaining to Medicine, as also the difference between the soul of man and that of the brutes; and, in the last, what the Author believes to be required in order to greater advancement in the investigation of Nature than has yet been made, with the reasons that have induced him to write.

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This web site is devoted to the Institute for History and Foundations of Science, which is part of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. The Institute consists of two distinct Sections: the History of Mathematics and the Natural Sciences Section and the Foundations of Physics Section, both located in De Uithof at the edge of the city of Utrecht.

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We are all taught Mathematics, but few if any, know from where it came. This is a journey into the world of Mathematics to seek out its roots and heritage. This is a journey of ancient Mathematicians and forgotten theorems. This is a journey of prehistoric philosophers and misdirected mathematicians. This is a journey of failures and successes. This is a treatise upon treatises and a proof upon proofs. Here we will gather the clues and solve the mysteries. Or we may simply leave the mysteries unsolved. Here we will learn of our ancestors and predict our future. All, of course, with roots in Mathematics.

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Sir Thomas Browne was born in London on October 19, 1605, educated at Winchester and Oxford, and trained for the practise of medicine. After traveling on the Continent he finally settled as a physician in Norwich, and enjoyed a distinguished professional reputation. Later he became equally famous as a scholar and antiquary, and was knighted by Charles II on the occasion of the King's visit to Norwich in 1671. In 1641 he married, and he was survived by four of his ten children. He died on his seventy-seventh birthday.