The Consistency of Arithmetic: And Other Essays

ISBN : 9780199316540

Storrs McCall
240 ページ
162 x 237 mm

This volume contains six new and fifteen previously published essays - plus a new introduction - by Storrs McCall. Some of the essays were written in collaboration with E. J. Lowe of Durham University. The essays discuss controversial topics in logic, action theory, determinism and indeterminism, and the nature of human choice and decision. Some construct a modern up-to-date version of Aristotle's bouleusis, practical deliberation. This process of practical deliberation is shown to be indeterministic but highly controlled and the antithesis of chance. Others deal with the concept of branching four-dimensional space-time, explain non-local influences in quantum mechanics, or reconcile God's omniscience with human free will. The eponymous first essay contains the proof of a fact that in 1931 Kurt Godel had claimed to be unprovable, namely that the set of arithmetic truths forms a consistent system.


Provenance of the Essays
Chapter One: The consistency of arithmetic.
Chapter Two: Can a Turing machine know that the Godel sentence is true?
Chapter Three: On "seeing" the truth of the Godel sentence.
Chapter Four: How to make a decision.
Chapter Five: Indeterminist Free Will. Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe.
Chapter Six: The determinists have run out of luck, for a good reason. Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe.
Chapter Seven: Action based on Deliberation and Decision.
Chapter Eight: Controlled Indeterministic Processes in Action Theory.
Chapter Nine: The Causative Power of Conscious Choice.
Chapter Ten: The Open Future and its Exploitation by Rational Agents.
Chapter Eleven: Does the brain lead the mind?
Chapter Twelve: 3D/4D equivalence, the twins paradox, and absolute time. Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe.
Chapter Thirteen: Philosophical Consequences of the Twins Paradox.
Chapter Fourteen: The 3D/4D Controversy: A Storm in a Teacup. Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe.
Chapter Fifteen: Laws of Nature and Branching Spacetime.
Chapter Sixteen: Objective Time Flow.
Chapter Seventeen: Time Flow
Chapter Eighteen: QM and STR: The Combining of Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory.
Chapter Nineteen: Downward causation, biological information, and development fields. StorrsMcCall and E.J. Lowe.
Chapter Twenty: The supervenience of truth: freewill and omniscience.
Chapter Twenty-One: An insoluble problem.


Storrs McCall studied philosophy at McGill University and at Oxford. He taught for six years at the University of Pittsburgh and for five years at Makerere University, Uganda, where he initiated the subject and was the first instructor of philosophy. He works in logic and analytic philosophy and has written extensively on the metaphysics of space and time.