Press release

Kurt Gödel Prize 2019 – a severe blow to reductionism

The Kurt Gödel Circle of Friends Berlin, supported by the University of Wuppertal, has announced the Kurt Gödel Prize 2019 with the aim of promoting anti-reductionist knowledge in the natural sciences and humanities. The prize money amounted to a total of 15,000 Euros.

The task of the competitors was to refute reductionism.
For this purpose, the best question was sought, which reductionists would have to answer, but cannot, and why. Thus such a fundamental and logical argumentation was demanded that it becomes hopeless to want to save reductionist explanations with reference to evidence to be provided in the future.

Our overall assessment is extremely positive: the large number of contributions from four continents has demonstrated the interest in solving the problem and the quality of the contributions submitted speaks for itself. We will therefore work together with the University of Wuppertal to publish as many of these essays as possible.

Our very special thanks go to the three members of the interdisciplinary jury, Prof. Eva-Maria Engelen, University of Konstanz, Prof. Christoph Benzmüller, Free University Berlin and Dr. Oliver Passon, University of Wuppertal, for whom it was not easy to select the three prize winners from the large number of outstanding essays.

According to the conditions of participation, the winners are as follows:
1st prize: Jesse Mulder for his essay: The limits of reductionism: thought, life, and reality
He proves that neither the questions of thinking nor of life or reality can be clarified in a reductionist or physical way.
2nd prize: Georg F R Ellis for his essay: Why reductionism does not work
3rd prize: Tim Lethen for his essay: Monads, Types and Branching Time – Kurt Gödel’s approach towards a theory of the soul

All three essays are published on the homepage of the Kurt Gödel Circle of Friends and can be viewed here
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