Kurt Gödel's Anticipation of the Turing Machine: A Vitalistic Approach

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


In 1935/1936 Kurt Gödel wrote three notebooks on the foundations of quantum mechanics, which have now been entirely transcribed for the first time. Whereas a lot of the material is rather technical in character, many of Gödel's remarks have a philosophical background and concentrate on Leibnizian monadology as well as on vitalism. Obviously influenced by the vitalistic writings of Hans Driesch and his 'proofs' for the existence of an entelechy in every living organism, Gödel briefly develops the idea of a computing machine which closely resembles Turing's groundbreaking conception. After introducing the notebooks on quantum mechanics, this article describes Gödel's vitalisticWeltbildand the ideas leading to the development of his computing machine. It investigates a notion oflawlike sequencewhich closely resembles Turing's concept of acomputable numberand which Gödel himself calls 'problematic', and compares it to the opposed concept of randomness, drawing upon the notion of program-size complexity. Finally, Gödel's machine is implemented in a dialect of theLispprograming language.

TidskriftHistory and Philosophy of Logic
Sidor (från-till)252-264
Antal sidor13
StatusPublicerad - 2 jul 2020
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 611 Filosofi

Citera det här