The present volume reprints the first English translation of Giidel's far-reaching work. Not only does it make the argument more intelligible, but the introduction contributed by Professor R. B. Braithwaite (Cambridge University}, an excellent work of scholarship in its own right, illuminates it by paraphrasing the major part of the argument.
This Dover edition thus makes widely available a superb edition of a classic work of original thought, one that will be of profound interest to mathematicians, logicians and anyone interested in the history of attempts to establish axioms that would provide a rigorous basis for all mathematics. Translated by B. Meltzer, University of Edinburgh. Preface. Introduction by R. B. Braithwaite.
His 1940 book, better known by its short title, The Consistency of the Continuum Hypothesis, is a classic of modern mathematics. The continuum hypothesis, introduced by mathematician George Cantor in 1877, states that there is no set of numbers between the integers and real numbers. It was later included as the first of mathematician David Hilbert's twenty-three unsolved math problems, famously delivered as a manifesto to the field of mathematics at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900. In The Consistency of the Continuum Hypothesis Gödel set forth his proof for this problem.
In 1999, Time magazine ranked him higher than fellow scientists Edwin Hubble, Enrico Fermi, John Maynard Keynes, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Jonas Salk. He is most renowned for his proof in 1931 of the 'incompleteness theorem,' in which he demonstrated that there are problems that cannot be solved by any set of rules or procedures. His proof wrought fruitful havoc in mathematics, logic, and beyond.