BN.com Gift Guide

Godel

Overview

Kurt Gödel was an intellectual giant. His Incompleteness Theorem turned not only mathematics but also the whole world of science and philosophy on its head. Shattering hopes that logic would, in the end, allow us a complete understanding of the universe, Gödel's theorem also raised many provocative questions: What are the limits of rational thought? Can we ever fully understand the machines we build? Or the inner workings of our own minds? How should mathematicians proceed in the absence of complete certainty ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (18) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $9.55   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Kurt Gödel was an intellectual giant. His Incompleteness Theorem turned not only mathematics but also the whole world of science and philosophy on its head. Shattering hopes that logic would, in the end, allow us a complete understanding of the universe, Gödel's theorem also raised many provocative questions: What are the limits of rational thought? Can we ever fully understand the machines we build? Or the inner workings of our own minds? How should mathematicians proceed in the absence of complete certainty about their results? Equally legendary were Gödel's eccentricities, his close friendship with Albert Einstein, and his paranoid fear of germs that eventually led to his death from self-starvation. Now, in the first book for a general audience on this strange and brilliant thinker, John Casti and Werner DePauli bring the legend to life.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
These authors, both respected academics, hope that "by the time the reader gets to the end of this book, he or she will know why" Kurt G del (1906-78) is one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. Unfortunately, that is highly unlikely. The complexity of the work for which G del is best known--the "G del Theorem" (baldly, that deductions from first principles can never be complete)--is such that it cannot be made comprehensible in a popular treatment such as this. This is not to say that there is not much of interest here--there is. There are nice discussions of important contemporary issues, such as computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and more, but none of it makes G del's work any more intelligible. What the reader will find here, however--and on this basis alone the book deserves a place in most libraries--is details of the strange life of a mathematical genius who died from self-starvation owing to paranoia that someone was trying to poison his food.--Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, DC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Popular science writer Casti (Sante Fe Institute and Technical U. of Vienna) and DePauli (statistics and computer science, U. of Vienna) present the first biography of mathematician Kurt G<:o>del (1906-78) for lay readers. They look at his life from childhood in Monrovia to self-starvation in Princeton, and explore the work he is known for. The short bibliography is annotated. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738205182
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 594,937
  • Product dimensions: 0.50 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John L. Casti, a member of the faculty of both the Santa Fe Institute and the Technical Unviersity of Vienna, has written numerous acclaimed popular scinece books, including Would-be Worlds, Five Golden Rules, and The Cambridge Quintet. Werner DePauli is University Assistant and Oberrat at the Institute of Statistics and Computer Science of the University of Vienna. He is the author of several books in German about Godel.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface vii
1 Since Aristotle 1
2 Forever Incomplete 13
3 The Undecidable 39
4 Young Godel 53
5 Life in Princeton 75
6 Mechanism and Mathematics 95
7 Thinking Machines and the Logic of Incompleteness 119
8 Time and Time Again 149
9 The Complexity of Complexity 163
10 Window on the Soul 191
References 197
Index 201
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)