Jean Ladrière (1921–2007)
Born in Belgium in 1921, Jean Ladrière worked at the crossroads of phenomenology and Catholic theology. He spent the majority of his career as a professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, and also served as the president of Leuven’s Institut supérieur de philosophie. Departing from his early engagements with mathematical logic, Ladrière retained a lifelong concern for the relation between science and culture, broadly conceived. From the 1940s onward he was active in Marxist politics in Belgium, and wrote a number of articles on the relations between communism and Christianity. His philosophical project aimed to reconcile the diverse forms of rationality with the tenets of Christian faith. Whether dealing with mathematics, logic or linguistics, the incapacity of a formalised science to include the endlessly deferred ’horizon’ which served as the condition of possibility for the sense it expressed was a guiding concern in Ladrière’s work. His contribution to volume 10 of the Cahiers is an assessment of the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem that develops some of Ladrière’s arguments from his doctoral thesis on the internal limitations of formalism, published in 1957. Ladrière’s emphasis on the limits of logical and mathematical formalisation contrasts with the approach to formalisation taken by Alain Badiou in volume 10 (cf. CpA 10.8:172 where Badiou mentions Ladrière).
In the Cahiers pour l’Analyse:
|Jean Ladrière, ‘Le Théorème de Löwenheim-Skolem’ CpA 10.6||[HTML]||[PDF]||[SYN]|
- ‘Mathematics and Formalism’ (1955), trans. Theodore J. Kiesel. In Phenomenology and the Natural Sciences: Essays and Translations, ed. Joseph J. Kockelmans and Theodore J. Kisiel. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1970. 466-99.
- Les Limitations Internes des Formalismes: Étude sur la signification du théorème de Gödel et des theorems apparentés dans la théorie des fondements des mathématiques. Louvain: E. Nauwalaerts/Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1957 [reprint, same pagination, with Ladrière’s corrections, Sceaux: Editions Jacques Gabay, 1992].
- ‘Mathematics in a Philosophy of the Science’ (1959), trans. Theodore J. Kiesel. In Phenomenology and the Natural Sciences: Essays and Translations, ed. Joseph J. Kockelmans and Theodore J. Kisiel. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1970. 443-65.
- L’Articulation du sens: Discours scientifique et parole de la foi. Paris: Aubier Montaigne-Editions du Cerf, 1970.
- La Science, le monde, et la foi. Tournai: Casterman, 1972.
- The Challenge Presented to Cultures by Science and Technology. Paris: UNESCO editions, 1977.
- La Foi chrétienne et la Destin de la raison. Paris: Cerf, 2004.