Book: Incompleteness / Rebecca Goldstein

Incompleteness BookIt was the perfect time for me to read about the life and work of Kurt Gödel, the mathematician who shook mathematics so violently at its foundations in 1931 that there is still widespread disagreement about where it has landed. Of course I encountered his name and theorems in my own investigations of the origins of mathematical thinking, but I was fortunate not to get too embroiled in the chaos he unleashed. Rebecca Goldstein does a marvelous job of placing Gödel in philosophical, historical, mathematical, and social context. Her central tenet is that both Gödel and his friend Albert Einstein were intellectually exiled Platonists in a sea of emerging postmodern thinkers, and I believe it. The contrast between his results and the widely varying philosophical interpretations of them is worth examining, as is the small collection of evidence of his strange personality that is deftly presented here.

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2 thoughts on “Book: Incompleteness / Rebecca Goldstein”

  1. Hmm, sounds really interesting. Whenever I hear the name Godel, I immediately think of the book Godel, Escher, Bach. Not that I’ve read this other book, but I’ve read books about that book, and I’ve always wanted to read it too. 🙂

  2. Yes me too. Douglas Hofstadter has a more recent book out called “I am a Strange Loop” that is on my list…

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