The Limits of Understanding



About This Video

This statement is false. Think about it, and it makes your head hurt. If it’s true, it’s false. If it’s false, it’s true. In 1931, Austrian logician Kurt Gödel shocked the worlds of mathematics and philosophy by establishing that such statements are far more than a quirky turn of language: he showed that there are mathematical truths which simply can’t be proven. In the decades since, thinkers have taken the brilliant Gödel’s result in a variety of directions—linking it to limits of human comprehension and the quest to recreate human thinking on a computer. In this full program from the 2010 Festival, leading thinkers untangle Gödel’s discovery and examine the wider implications of his revolutionary finding.

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