The foundations of mathematics are unproven

Philosopher and logician Kurt Gödel upended our understanding of mathematics and truth.

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  • In 1900, mathematician David Hilbert laid down 23 problems for the mathematics world to solve, the biggest of which was how to prove mathematics itself.
  • Far from solving the issue, Kurt Gödel showed just how groundless the axioms of mathematics are.
  • Gödel's theorem does not devalue mathematics but reveals that some truths are unprovable.
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The hardest question ever asked: What is truth?

Scientists believe they have the answer, but philosophers prove them wrong.

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  • Science is based on the correspondence theory of truth, which claims that truth corresponds with facts and reality.
  • Various philosophers have put forth substantive challenges to the truth claims made by science.
  • While science is the best tool to understand the material universe, it has nothing substantive to say about the things that matter most, like love, beauty, and purpose.
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Does science tell the truth?

It is impossible for science to arrive at ultimate truths, but functional truths are good enough.

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  • What is truth? This is a very tricky question, trickier than many would like to admit.
  • Science does arrive at what we can call functional truth, that is, when it focuses on what something does as opposed to what something is. We know how gravity operates, but not what gravity is, a notion that has changed over time and will probably change again.
  • The conclusion is that there are not absolute final truths, only functional truths that are agreed upon by consensus. The essential difference is that scientific truths are agreed upon by factual evidence, while most other truths are based on belief.
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The philosophy of bullsh*t and how to avoid stepping in it

A philosopher's guide to detecting nonsense and getting around it.

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  • A professor in Sweden has a bold on idea on what BS, pseudoscience, and pseudophilosophy actually are.
  • He suggests they are defined by a lack of "epistemic conscientiousness" rather than merely being false.
  • He offers suggestions on how to avoid producing nonsense and how to identify it on sight.
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Why voters value loyalty over honesty in politics

Researchers at Cornell found through new experiments that people will overlook dishonesty if it benefits them and the group they identify with.

  • New studies suggest that in competitive settings, group loyalty leads to group members displaying more dishonest tendencies.
  • Research at Cornell found that there is a fundamental link between dishonesty and loyalty when it comes to group think.
  • Dishonesty in politics which is an ever-present and timeless aspect is most likely due to this phenomenon.
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