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From Frege to Godel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931 (Source Books in History of Sciences) Paperback – February 14, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0674324497 ISBN-10: 0674324498

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From Frege to Godel: A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931 (Source Books in History of Sciences) + The Undecidable: Basic Papers on Undecidable Propositions, Unsolvable Problems and Computable Functions (Dover Books on Mathematics)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 680 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (February 14, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674324498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674324497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,155,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The outstanding quality of the translations and introductions still make this source book the most important reference for the history of mathematical logic. (Paolo Mancosu, University of California, Berkeley)

Meticulously edited, with excellent translations and helpful introductory notes, From Frege to Gödel is an indispensable volume for anyone interested in the development of modern logic and its philosophical impact. (Warren Goldfarb, Harvard University)

It is difficult to describe this book without praising it...[From Frege to Gödel] is, in effect, the record of an important chapter in the history of thought. No serious student of logic or foundations of mathematics will want to be without it. (Review of Metaphysics)

There can be no doubt that the book is a valuable contribution to the logical literature and that it will certainly spread the knowledge of mathematical logic and its history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Andrzej Mostowski Synthese)

If there is one book that every philosopher interested in the history of logic should own, not to mention all the philosophers who pretend they know something about the history of logic, From Frege to Gödel is that book. (Hilary Putnam, Harvard University)

From Frege to Gödel lays out before our eyes the turbulent panorama in which modern logic came to be. (W. D. Hart, University of Illinois at Chicago)

From Frege to Gödel is the single most important collection of original papers from the development of mathematical logic-an invaluable source for all students of the subject. (Michael Friedman, University of Indiana)

A Bible for historians of logic and computer science, this invaluable collection will profit anyone interested in the interplay between mathematics and philosophy in the early decades of the twentieth century. It provides a unique and comprehensive way to appreciate how modern mathematical logic unfolded in the hands of its greatest founding practitioners. (Juliet Floyd, Boston University)

Year in, year out, I recommend this book enthusiastically to students and colleagues for sources in the history and philosophy of modern logic and the foundations of mathematics; I use my own copy so much, it is falling apart. (Solomon Feferman, Stanford University)

For more than three decades this outstanding collection has been the authoritative source of basic texts in mathematical logic in the English language; it remains without peer to this day. (Michael Detlefson, University of Notre Dame)

Jean van Heijenoort's Source Book in Mathematical Logic offers a judicious selection of articles, lectures and correspondence on mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics, covering the whole of the single most fertile period in the history of logic, namely from 1879 (the year of Frege's epochmaking discovery/invention of modern mathematical logic) to 1931 (the year of Gödel's epoch-ending incompleteness theorem). All the translations are impeccable. Each piece is introduced by an expository article and additionally furnished with a battery of supplementary technical, historical, and philosophical comments in the form of additional footnotes. The collection as a whole allows one to relive each of the crucial steps in this formative period in the history of logic, from Frege's introduction of the Begriffsschrift, to the discovery of Russell's paradox (including Frege's heroic and heart-breaking letter of congratulation to Russell(, the development of axiomatic set theory, the program of Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica, Brouwer's intuitionism, Hilbert's proof theory, to the limitative theorems of Skolem and Gödel, to mention only a few of the highlights. Anyone with a serious interest in the history or philosophy of logic will want to own this volume. (James Conant, University of Chicago)

About the Author

Jean van Heijenoort, well known in the fields of mathematical logic and foundations of mathematics, is Professor of Philosophy at Brandeis University and has taught at New York and Columbia Universities.

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Keith Douglas on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
The second part of my review title may shock some, but the excellent collection of papers that Van Heijenoort has edited (and in many cases translated!) is also an excellent reference in the history of computing. Everyone appreciates that mathematical logic gave rise to computer science; the papers in this collection from Hilbert, Herbrand, Gödel, and others will show why.
If your interest is instead the history of logic, all the classics in the range specified by the work's title are here, complete with their own ideosyncratic notation. van Heijenoort's wonderful introductions to each piece will interelate the works, provide references to other literature and situate everything in a wonderful intellectual climate.
Be warned, however, that the foundational papers in this still growing field continue for another 15 years or so; these are reprinted in Davis' (alas, out of print) anthology _The Undecidable_.
This collection will keep you busy and wet your appetite for a sequel!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William F. Scott on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book contains translations of original articles from this period. In one case, Herbrand's theorem, there are extensive notes to repair a mistake; but most are simply presented as is, with short introductions that give some historical context. It is really wonderful to see the ideas develop. Fortunately, this book has recently been reprinted. Library copies are falling apart.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maltese Falcon on January 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This excellent collection has introductions which help immensely. With only a math major from the 50's and no advanced degree I was still able to develop my own fairly rigorous single page synopsis of Godel's theorems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Loren Cobb on September 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a universal principle in mathematics, it helps the understanding of any topic to go back to the original papers. Reading these, one learns what the original problems were. These are often quite different from the way the topics are presented by modern specialists. This book is no exception: I learned a lot from it. Most particularly, my appreciation for Gottlob Frege has risen dramatically.
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