However, few mathematicians of the time were equipped to understand the young scholar's complex proof. Ernest Nagel and James Newman provide a readable and accessible explanation to both scholars and non-specialists of the main ideas and broad implications of Gödel's discovery. It offers every educated person with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to understand a previously difficult and inaccessible subject.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the original publication of Gödel's Proof, New York University Press is proud to publish this special anniversary edition of one of its bestselling and most frequently translated books. With a new introduction by Douglas R. Hofstadter, this book will appeal students, scholars, and professionals in the fields of mathematics, computer science, logic and philosophy, and science.
Ernest Nagel was John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.
James R. Newman was the author of What is Science.
Douglas R. Hofstadter is College of Arts and Sciences Professor of computer science and cognitive science at Indiana University and author of the Pulitzer-prize winning Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.
Probing the life and work of Kurt Gödel, Incompleteness indelibly portrays the tortured genius whose vision rocked the stability of mathematical reasoning—and brought him to the edge of madness.
"...a perfectly marvelous book about the Queen of Sciences, from which one will get a real feeling for what mathematicians do and who they are. The exposition is clear and full of wit and humor..." - The New Yorker (1983 National Book Award edition)
Mathematics has been a human activity for thousands of years. Yet only a few people from the vast population of users are professional mathematicians, who create, teach, foster, and apply it in a variety of situations. The authors of this book believe that it should be possible for these professional mathematicians to explain to non-professionals what they do, what they say they are doing, and why the world should support them at it. They also believe that mathematics should be taught to non-mathematics majors in such a way as to instill an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics. Many people from around the world have told the authors that they have done precisely that with the first edition and they have encouraged publication of this revised edition complete with exercises for helping students to demonstrate their understanding. This edition of the book should find a new generation of general readers and students who would like to know what mathematics is all about. It will prove invaluable as a course text for a general mathematics appreciation course, one in which the student can combine an appreciation for the esthetics with some satisfying and revealing applications.
The text is ideal for 1) a GE course for Liberal Arts students 2) a Capstone course for perspective teachers 3) a writing course for mathematics teachers. A wealth of customizable online course materials for the book can be obtained from Elena Anne Marchisotto (email@example.com) upon request.
In 1931 the mathematical logician Kurt Godel published a revolutionary paper that challenged certain basic assumptions underpinning mathematics and logic. A colleague of physicist Albert Einstein, his theorem proved that mathematics was partly based on propositions not provable within the mathematical system. The importance of Godel's Proof rests upon its radical implications and has echoed throughout many fields, from maths to science to philosophy, computer design, artificial intelligence, even religion and psychology. While others such as Douglas Hofstadter and Roger Penrose have published bestsellers based on Godel’s theorem, this is the first book to present a readable explanation to both scholars and non-specialists alike. A gripping combination of science and accessibility, Godel’s Proof by Nagel and Newman is for both mathematicians and the idly curious, offering those with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.
Kurt Godel (1906 – 1978) Born in Brunn, he was a colleague of physicist Albert Einstein and professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.