Paradox of Kurt Gödel. Reviewed by Juliette Kennedy. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt. Gödel. Rebecca Goldstein. W. W. Norton & Company. fefe 1. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel by Rebecca Goldstein. Weidenfeld, pp. Like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Gödel’s. Irving H. Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel by R. Goldstein . Rev. Mod. Log. 11 (), no. ,

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On the other hand, the author actually makes more sense out of Wittgenstein than anyone else I’ve heard, and the anecdotes about Wittgenstein are helpful in describing the intellectual scene around the Vienna Circle.

Anellis : Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel by R. Goldstein

The anecdotes Goldstein provides are amusing and endear you to Godel as a inxompleteness, but as biography “Incompleteness” isn’t comprehensive or even a general overview of Godel’s life. Goedel’s ideas are so central to 20th century thinking that it is likely that Einstein for many years until his death Goedel’s closest friend was the only person he ever met who he was not, eventually, to become more famous and influential than for example Wittgens David Foster Wallace RIP once referred to Kurt Goedel, the subject of this book, as mathematics’ Prince of Darkness.

Nov 29, Ed rated it really liked it. See David Foster Wallace’s book on Cantor and Infinity for the same “Great Discoveries” Series if you want read more about the difficulties of writing a book like this. In parafox age rocked by the counter-intuitive implications of things like Relativity Theory and Quantum Mechanics, which present paradoxes that seem resolvable by further thought, the Incompleteness Theorem is even more of a scandal.

Mar 31, Jonathan Fretheim rated it liked it. A Study in Existentialist Philosophy,concluded from his account of Godel that “mathematics has no self-subsistent reality independent of the human activity that mathematicians carry on. When I came across the mistake on page I immediately check her acknowledgments.

Namely, that in closed systems, there will be true statements that cannot be proved. Wittgenstein rejected Goedel’s proof, and this book makes it fairly clear that Wittgenstein never really understood it and somehow wanted to dodge the conclusions with condescending statements about having, somehow, transcended it all. A persuasive interpretation of Godel as mathematical Platonist rather than as harbinger of modernist anxiety. More to the point, there was never any chance of it being interpreted that way.

In fact, he considered his incompleteness theorem as proof positive no pun intended of his own Platonist philosophy, nearly the opposite of positivism Platonists believe in objective reality, and a Platonist mathematician views a new proof not as a creation prroof as a discovery.


Paradox plays a major role in the story gdel this book. Yeah, sure, he might be a genius, but why should I read someone who clearly doesn’t want to talk to me, or apparently anyone else? The proof itself is rather simplified and no great mathematical knowledge is required. Apr 24, Domhnall rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is because these changes have exact causes, such as chemical, ultraviolet radiation, or cosmic rays. Mar 15, Jafar rated it really liked it.

Preview — Incompleteness by Rebecca Goldstein. Some of the things asserted about the process of Godel numbering seemed almost magical as a result.

The incompleteness of mathematics is an astounding concept — it’s so infompleteness, that you are left breathless, not even sure what the whole thing means. Other books in the series. We need to grasp Godel’s theories accurately because we This book is succinct, accessible and well constructed.

I can say that i thought i read many sentences more than once Also, the accounts of the personal relationships between the people in the Vienna Circle really helped me to understand the very different ideas which they and Goedel were respectively trying to articulate.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. A Work of Fictionwill be published by Pantheon Books. This is a great book about a strange and brilliant man. Objective topics covered in this incompleteenss range from the nature of mathematical reality, to the nature of time, to the nature of the mind. Overall the book is a joy to read. And, they say preciously little on the human mind, if anything. Apart from the formal parts of the third anf, this is a very easy to grasp and recommendable reading for all those who want to make themselves more familiar epistemology, history of science, meta-mathematics and logic.

What a wonderful book.

Though I suppose that gives her a slightly higher allotment of words beginning with meta-I still think she nonetheless far exceeded it! The picture that she paints is tragic, warm, and very eccentric.

What a fascinating and under appreciated man. If you are more interested in the proof itself, read this book, which goes into more detail. The incompleteness of mathematics is just really hard to wrap your brain around; This is a great book to learn more about “Goedel’s Proof” actually two proofs, or actually incompleteneess proofs if you count his Ph. What would its reception have been if it had been called the Theory of Absolutism?


However, I should warn you, I went to graduate school in philosophy, and took one logic class in which Goedel’s proof was discussed. Goedel’s ideas are so central to 20th century thinking that it is likely that Einstein for many years until his incompleheness Goedel’s closest friend was the only person he ever met who he was not, eventually, to become more famous and influential than for example Wittgenstein, a much more famous thinker than Goedel in his time and a major player in this book’s story, is not nearly so influential now.

An Eternal Golden Braid by Hofstadter how clever he is, including that title. I would just caution to be a little wary of some of her information. After earning her Ph. She met him once in a rare congenial mood at a party at Princeton. It even decimated an entire school of mathematical thought known as formalism, which existed primarily incpmpleteness advocate the removal of intuition, to make math airtight once and for all; incompleteness proved this will never be done.

That the latter proclaims first that in a formal mathematical system of assumed consistency there will exist a statement that is both tge and unprovable; and second that said formal system’s consistency cannot be proved from within itself, is, as Goldstein argues, from the same mental territory that Wittgenstein drew from in his early thought. This is that mathematics has incompleeness existence outside the human mind in some sort of Platonic realm.

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel

The majority of non-mathematicians, and no small number of mathematicians, interpret the theorem despairingly. To finite man the infinite is an awesome, disturbing, and chaotic beast, forever mocking human aspirations and advances with its eternities and paradoxes and circularities. This is a tough balancing act te any popular take on technical subjects. She also dispels the postmodernists mythologies about incompletenwss Godel’s theorems mean.

Her books tell a compelling story as they describe with wit, compassion and originality the interaction of mind and heart. Everything outside this reality, all meta-mathematics, was meaningless and of no importance to them. The final quarter of the book is a pzradox essay detailing Goldstein’s first experiences with Godel’s work, and the time she met him at a cocktail party also among the attendees of which was Joseph Stalin’s daughter, btw.