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Reflections on Kurt Gödel Paperback – Mar 14 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; New edition edition (March 14 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262730871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262730877
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.2 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,613,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

Wang, professor of logic at Rockefeller University, was personally acquainted with Godel in his last years, and relies on recollected conversations as well as published and unpublished material in this first extended treatment of Godel's life and work. Known primarily as a mathematician/logician from his published work, Godel's extensive unpublished work, says Wang, contains "bold speculations on several perennial issues of universal concern." Those issues are only hinted at here, as most of the philosophical discussion concerns the philosophy of mathematics. Wang promises a future book dealing with Godel's Nachlass. Because material now available on Godel is limited, this somewhat rambling, anecdotal account is essential for pertinent subject collections. Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The depth and authority of Wang's analysis are certain to make his treatise a standard reference."--"New Scientist"

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Godel's was a life (1906-1978) devoted, as much as is humanly possible, and with success, to the doing of fundamental theoretical work. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I understand that Wang has been an important source in compiling information on Godel and bringing it to public attention over the years, but this is the first book of his I've read. This volume contains a variety of material about Godel- biographical facts, personal recollections, chronologies, Godel's philosophical ideas, the impact and historical setting of his mathematical work, his relationship with Einstein, comparisons to other prominent intellectuals, and more. It assumes a basic understanding of Godel's theorems. The major portion of the book is Wang's attempted presentation and examination of Godel's (largely unpublished) philosophical activity. Much of this is about Wang's own philosophy as he attempts to clarify both their positions by articulating points of agreement and disagreement. Some of these sections require more background in philosophy than most students of mathematics possess (myself included).
Wang supplies lots of interesting historical and biographical material as well. The 75 page chronology of Godel's life and work is very informative. Contains 11 photographs of Godel and company. The book ends with some useful commentary on selected publications of Godel. If you're looking just for a biography get Dawson's excellent book, but anyone seriously interested in Godel will want this as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Since no one else has reviewed this I will. March 2 2004
By Jason T - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wang has been an important source in compiling information on Godel and bringing it to public attention. This volume contains a variety of material about Godel- biographical facts, personal recollections, chronologies, Godel's philosophical ideas, the impact and historical setting of his mathematical work, his relationship with Einstein, comparisons to other prominent intellectuals, and more. It assumes a basic understanding of Godel's theorems. The bulk of the book is a presentation of some of Godel's (largely unpublished) philosophical activity. There is also quite a bit on Wang's own views as he contrasts them with Godel's. Some of these sections require more background in philosophy than most students of mathematics possess (myself included).

Wang supplies lots of interesting historical and biographical material as well. The 75 page chronology of Godel's life and work is very informative. Contains 11 photographs of Godel and company. The book ends with some useful commentary on selected publications of Godel. If you're looking just for a biography get Dawson's excellent book, but anyone seriously interested in Godel will want this as well.
3 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Wang Exposes Godel's Great Predictions. April 11 2005
By George Shollenberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On Pages 1 and 2, Wang tells us that Godel, the master of the incomplete, suggests the possibility of philosophy as an exact theory emerging within the next hundred years or even sooner. There will be, he believes, scientific disproofs of what he calls' mechanism in biology' and of the proposition that 'there is no mind separate from matter'; moreover he thinks it practically certain that the 'physical laws, in their observable consequences, have a finite limit of precision. In his conversations, he recommends the important project of finding what might be called a 'rational religion.'

I conclude that exact philosophy already exists because theological statements are being proven, even though the ultimate truth will always be incomplate. This prediction means that the scientific method cannot be used to prove worlds, which is a box in which we live. Thus, universe cannot be measured without measure standards. So the universe is relativistic and can never be known exactly. I also agree with Godel that mechanisms will never be found in living things. This is why US medical care is so bad. I agree with Godel that minds will never be without bodies because only organizations exist in Nature. I also agree with Godel that a rational religion is coming because theological statements are being proven.

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