more from Kurt Gdel

Single Idea 10122

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 4. Axioms for Number / g. Incompleteness of Arithmetic]

Full Idea

Second Incompleteness Theorem: If S is a sufficiently powerful formal system, then if S is consistent then S cannot prove its own consistency

Gist of Idea

Second Incompleteness: a decent consistent system can't prove its own consistency


report of Kurt Gdel (On Formally Undecidable Propositions [1931]) by A.George / D.J.Velleman - Philosophies of Mathematics Ch.6

Book Reference

George,A/Velleman D.J.: 'Philosophies of Mathematics' [Blackwell 2002], p.165

A Reaction

This seems much less surprising than the First Theorem (though it derives from it). It was always kind of obvious that you couldn't use reason to prove that reason works (see, for example, the Cartesian Circle).