Incompleteness and Inconsistency
Author: Shapiro, Stewart
Source: Mind, Volume 111, Number 444, October 2002 , pp. 817-832(16)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:Graham Priest's In Contradiction (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1987, chapter 3) contains an argument concerning the intuitive, or ‘naïve’ notion of (arithmetic) proof, or provability. He argues that the intuitively provable arithmetic sentences constitute a recursively enumerable set, which has a Gödel sentence which is itself intuitively provable. The incompleteness theorem does not apply, since the set of provable arithmetic sentences is not consistent.
The purpose of this article is to sharpen Priest's argument, avoiding reference to informal notions, consensus, or Church's thesis. We add Priest's dialetheic semantics to ordinary Peano arithmetic PA, to produce a recursively axiomatized formal system PA★ that contains its own truth predicate. Whether one is a dialetheist or not, PA★ is a legitimate, rigorously defined formal system, and one can explore its proof‐theoretic properties. The system is inconsistent (but presumably non‐trivial), and it proves its own Gödel sentence as well as its own soundness.
Although this much is perhaps welcome to the dialetheist, it has some untoward consequences. There are purely arithmetic (indeed, Π
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 2002
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