TU Wien Informatics

"From Greek Paradoxes to Political Paradoxes"

  • 2022-01-14

On January 14, the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms at TU Wien celebrates World Logic Day with a public online Vienna Logic Lecture / Prof. Moshe Y. Vardi

"From Greek Paradoxes to Political Paradoxes"

  • This is an online-only event.
    See description for details.

Date: 14 January 2022

Time: 8am PST | 11am EST | 1pm GMT-3 | 5pm CET

Digital venue: Zoom or YouTube

Website & Free Registration via Eventbrite: https://logicday.vcla.at/

Short Bio

Moshe Y. Vardi is University Professor, Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Professor in Computational Engineering at Rice University, where he is leading an Initiative on Technology, Culture, and Society. His interests focus on automated reasoning, a branch of Artificial Intelligence with broad applications to computer science, including machine learning, database theory, computational-complexity theory, knowledge in multi-agent systems, computer-aided verification, and teaching logic across the curriculum. He is also a Faculty Scholar at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

Abstract

The ancient Greeks invented logic, as a tool to discover eternal truths. They also invented paradoxes, as a tool to sharpen the mind. Famous Greek paradoxes are the Liar’s Paradox, Zeno’s Paradox, and the Sand-Heap Paradox. The Liar’s Paradox led, at the start of the 20th Century, to a foundational crisis of mathematics, which led to the development of computability theory in the 1930s, as well as the unresolvable mathematical conundrum of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

Computing technology, which also emerged in the 1930s, ultimately led, at the start of the 21 Century, to the emergence of social media. Today, our society is struggling with the adverse societal effects of social media. These adverse effects can also be understood in terms of the Greek paradoxes, as well as their political versions, known as the Popperian Paradoxes. In fact, one can say that the Greek myths of Prometheus and Pandora already told us that technology does not come without adverse consequences, which is why John von Neumann, one of the most prominent computing pioneers, asked in 1955, “Can we survive technology?”

About World Logic Day

Annually on this day (14. January), we remember the death of Kurt Gödel (Brno 1906 – Princeton 1978) as well as the birth of Alfred Tarski (Warsaw 1901 – Berkeley 1983). UNESCO proclaimed World Logic Day in 2019, in association with the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH), to enhance public understanding of logic and its implications for science, technology and innovation.

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