The Incomplete Universe

The Incomplete Universe

Totality, Knowledge, and Truth

By Patrick Grim

A Bradford Book





The central claim of this powerful philosophical exploration is that within any logic we have, there can be no coherent notion of all truth or of total knowledge. Grim examines a series of logical paradoxes and related formal results to reveal their implications for contemporary epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. He reaches the provocative conclusion that, if the universe is thought of in terms of its truths, it is essentially open and incomplete. The Incomplete Universe includes detailed work on the liar paradox and recent attempts at solution, Kaplan and Montague's paradox of the knower, the Gödel theorems and related incompleteness phenomena, and new forms of Cantorian argument. The emphasis throughout is philosophical rather than formal, with an eye to connection's with possible worlds, the notion of omniscience, and the opening lines of the Tractatus: "The world is all that is the case. "


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262071345 182 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$25.00 X ISBN: 9780262519113 182 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


  • Clear thorough and elegant Grim's arguments challenge received ideals of completeness of knowledge truth divine omniscience and worlds as totalities of facts. Discussion of these and related topics will never be the same; the very effort to escape Grim's conclusions will yield creative advances in logic and in our understanding of its powers and limits.

    John F. Post

    Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University