Logical Dilemmas: The Life and Work of Kurt Gödel

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9781568812564: Logical Dilemmas: The Life and Work of Kurt Gödel

This authoritative biography of Kurt Goedel relates the life of this most important logician of our time to the development of the field. Goedel's seminal achievements that changed the perception and foundations of mathematics are explained in the context of his life from the turn of the century Austria to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

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About the Author:

John W. Dawson, Jr. attended M.I.T. as a National Merit Scholar before earning a doctorate in mathematical logic from the University of Michigan. An internationally recognized authority on the life and work of Kurt Gödel, Dawson is the author of numerous articles on axiomatic set theory and the history of modern logic.

From Publishers Weekly:

Mathematician Kurt Godel (1906-1978), familiar to readers of Douglas Hofstadter's bestseller Godel, Escher, Bach, put supreme faith in the unlimited power of rational inquiry, yet paradoxically, his famous incompleteness theorem holds that no single axiomatic system can yield all arithmetic truths. The tension between Godel's scientific rationalism and his personal instability is ably explored in this solid biography. An anorexic and reclusive hypochondriac given to depression and periods of paranoid breakdown, he died of starvation in the grip of an obsessive fear of being poisoned. Born in the Czech city of Brno (then part of Austria-Hungary) to ethnic German parents, Godel did his best work in Vienna, where he remained apolitical despite Austria's slide into a pro-Nazi fascist police state. Viewed with distrust by the Nazis because his mentor and many of his professors were Jewish, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1940 with his wife, Adele Porkert, lecturing at Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, where he befriended Einstein. Godel believed in an afterlife, telepathy, ESP and the possibility of time travel. Providing an incisive introduction to his work in logic, mathematics and cosmology, this rigorous biography by Pennsylvania State University logician Dawson will primarily interest mathematicians, serious students and historians of science. Photos.
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