The Limits and Scope of Mathematical Knowledge

People involved in this project

Principal investigators:

School Arts and Mathematics
Department Philosophy and Mathematics
Dates March 2011 - March 2013
Website The Limits and Scope of Mathematical Knowledge
Funder Templeton foundation: Science and the big questions
Contact person Leon Horsten and Philip Welch

The project aims to use theoretical tools from mathematics and philosophy in order to gain some understanding of the possibilities concerning mathematical knowledge. The project investigates the following questions:Are there 'absolutely unprovable' statements? Or is the mind at least theoretically capable of unlimited knowledge? Does the human mind surpass the powers of a universal Turing machine?

In the past decades, different formal frameworks for investigating the concept of mathematical knowledge have been developed. However, these frameworks have not yet been applied to the question of the scope and limits of mathematical knowledge. At the same time, investigations in to this problem using more traditional methods have reached an impasse. The workshops aim at combining and integrating different formal frameworks,and to apply them to the question of the scope and limits of mathematical knowledge.

The first workshop will be one exploratory of themes and assessing possible approaches; the second will be a finalising workshop, expounding on the collected problem areas identified in the first meeting and the results achieved.