An Introduction to Godel's Theorems

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2007 Hardcover Good Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access ... codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Read more Show Less

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In 1931, the young Kurt Gödel published his First Incompleteness Theorem, which tells us that, for any sufficiently rich theory of arithmetic, there are some arithmetical truths the theory cannot prove. This remarkable result is among the most intriguing (and most misunderstood) in logic. Gödel also outlined an equally significant Second Incompleteness Theorem.How are these Theorems established, and why do they matter? Peter Smith answers these questions by presenting an unusual variety of proofs for the First Theorem, showing how to prove the Second Theorem, and exploring a family of related results (including some not easily available elsewhere). The formal explanations are interwoven with discussions of the wider significance of the two Theorems. This book will be accessible to philosophy students with a limited formal background. It is equally suitable for mathematics students taking a first course in mathematical logic.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"How did Gödel establish the two Theorems of Incompleteness, and why do they matter? Smith (U. of Cambridge) advises readers to take their time in answering these and related questions he poses as he presents a variety of proofs for the First Theorem and shows how to prove the Second. He also examines a group of related results with the same care and attention to detail. In 36 well-paced chapters Smith builds his case from a basic introduction to G<&#58;o>del's theorems on to such issues as the truths of arithmetic, formalized arithmetics, primitive recursive functions, identifying the diagonalization Lemma in the First Theorem and using it, dirivability conditions in the Second Theorem. Turing machines (and recursiveness) and the Church-Turing thesis. Accessible without being dismissive, this is accessible to philosophy students and equally suitable for mathematics students taking a first course in logic."
Book News

"... Without doubt, a mandatory reference for every philosopher interested in philosophy of mathematics. The text is, in general, written in a prose style but without avoiding formalisms. It is very accurate in the mathematical arguments and it offers to mathematicians and logicians a detailed approach to Gödel's theorems, covering many aspects which are not easy to find in other presentations."
Reinhard Kahle, Mathematical Reviews

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Peter Smith is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His books include Explaining Chaos (1998) and An Introduction to Formal Logic (2003), and he is a former editor of the journal Analysis.
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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. What Gödel's Theorems say; 2. Decidability and enumerability; 3. Axiomatized formal theories; 4. Capturing numerical properties; 5. The truths of arithmetic; 6. Sufficiently strong arithmetics; 7. Interlude: taking stock; 8. Two formalized arithmetics; 9. What Q can prove; 10. First-order Peano Arithmetic; 11. Primitive recursive functions; 12. Capturing funtions; 13. Q is p.r. adequate; 14. Interlude: a very little about Principia; 15. The arithmetization of syntax; 16. PA is incomplete; 17. Gödel's First Theorem; 18. Interlude: about the First Theorem; 19. Strengthening the First Theorem; 20. The Diagonalization Lemma; 21. Using the Diagonalization Lemma; 22. Second-order arithmetics; 23. Interlude: incompleteness and Isaacson's conjecture; 24. Gödel's Second Theorem for PA; 25. The derivability conditions; 26. Deriving the derivability conditions; 27. Reflections; 28. Interlude: about the Second Theorem; 29. Recursive functions; 30. Undecidability and incompleteness; 31. Turing machines; 32. Turing machines and recursiveness; 33. Halting problems; 34. The Church-Turing Thesis; 35. Proving the Thesis?; 36. Looking back.
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