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Publication - Dr Johannes Stern

    Penrose's New Argument and Paradox


    Stern, J, 2017, ‘Penrose's New Argument and Paradox’. in: Truth, Existence, and Explanation: FilMat Studies in the Philosophy of Mathematics. Springer


    In this paper we take a closer look at Penrose’s New Argument for the claim that the human mind cannot be mechanized and investigate whether the argument can be formalized in a sound and coherent way using a theory of truth and absolute provability. Our findings are negative; we can show that there will be no consistent theory that allows for a formalization of Penrose’s argument in a straight- forward way. In a second step we consider Penrose’s overall strategy for arguing for his view and provide a reasonable theory of truth and absolute provability in which this strategy leads to a sound argument for the claim that the human mind cannot be mechanized. However, we argue that the argument is intuitively implausible since it relies on a pathological feature of the proposed theory.

    Full details in the University publications repository