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Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 1

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Looking at my lecture notes Gödel Without (Too Many) Tears, they now seem rather patchy. They could certainly be clearer in a number of places, and could be better arranged too. Since they are downloaded two thousand times a year or so — and people have said that they find them useful — it seems worth making the effort to revisit the notes and improve them where I can. So here is the first installment of a revised version, the brief Preface, and Chapter 1 on Incompleteness, the Very Idea. There are now eighteen short chapters (some very short), and I’ll be posting them at the rate of a chapter a day, starting now (with weekends off, and a composite update on the next three Mondays). You can either read along slowly, or join the party later. I have tried to keep the notes, as before, at under a third the length of IGT2. So you get some headline news without too much (distracting?) extra detail. Comments and corrections are most welcome, indeed encouraged — except from Gödel cranks! In particular, don’t hesitate to let me know about typos. I will try to respond to comments and queries day by day (depending how few/many there are). You can comment by replying to the blog post for the relevant chapter. Three points about using the comments system: If the system does not recognize your email address as a real one and that of someone who has had comments approved before, your comment will be held in a moderation queue (for obvious enough reasons!). If your comment is approved, your email address won’t be published, however. (Comments which use offensive names won’t be published even if the comment is a sensible one. Yes, people are that silly!) If your comment is more than a sentence or two long, it is probably worth editing it off-line and checking it before copying, pasting, and posting (notionally you have a few minutes to edit, but this doesn’t work for everyone). Alternatively, you can mail peter underscore smith at. . .

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News source: Logic Matters

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