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Reflections on Kurt Gödel Paperback – March 14, 1990

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Wang, professor of logic at Rockefeller University, was personally acquainted with Godel in his last years, and relies on recollected conversations as well as published and unpublished material in this first extended treatment of Godel's life and work. Known primarily as a mathematician/logician from his published work, Godel's extensive unpublished work, says Wang, contains "bold speculations on several perennial issues of universal concern." Those issues are only hinted at here, as most of the philosophical discussion concerns the philosophy of mathematics. Wang promises a future book dealing with Godel's Nachlass. Because material now available on Godel is limited, this somewhat rambling, anecdotal account is essential for pertinent subject collections. Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"The depth and authority of Wang's analysis are certain to make his treatise a standard reference."--"New Scientist"

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Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book (March 14, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262730871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262730877
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jason T on March 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
Wang has been an important source in compiling information on Godel and bringing it to public attention. This volume contains a variety of material about Godel- biographical facts, personal recollections, chronologies, Godel's philosophical ideas, the impact and historical setting of his mathematical work, his relationship with Einstein, comparisons to other prominent intellectuals, and more. It assumes a basic understanding of Godel's theorems. The bulk of the book is a presentation of some of Godel's (largely unpublished) philosophical activity. There is also quite a bit on Wang's own views as he contrasts them with Godel's. Some of these sections require more background in philosophy than most students of mathematics possess (myself included).

Wang supplies lots of interesting historical and biographical material as well. The 75 page chronology of Godel's life and work is very informative. Contains 11 photographs of Godel and company. The book ends with some useful commentary on selected publications of Godel. If you're looking just for a biography get Dawson's excellent book, but anyone seriously interested in Godel will want this as well.
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4 of 25 people found the following review helpful By George Shollenberger on April 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
On Pages 1 and 2, Wang tells us that Godel, the master of the incomplete, suggests the possibility of philosophy as an exact theory emerging within the next hundred years or even sooner. There will be, he believes, scientific disproofs of what he calls' mechanism in biology' and of the proposition that 'there is no mind separate from matter'; moreover he thinks it practically certain that the 'physical laws, in their observable consequences, have a finite limit of precision. In his conversations, he recommends the important project of finding what might be called a 'rational religion.'

I conclude that exact philosophy already exists because theological statements are being proven, even though the ultimate truth will always be incomplate. This prediction means that the scientific method cannot be used to prove worlds, which is a box in which we live. Thus, universe cannot be measured without measure standards. So the universe is relativistic and can never be known exactly. I also agree with Godel that mechanisms will never be found in living things. This is why US medical care is so bad. I agree with Godel that minds will never be without bodies because only organizations exist in Nature. I also agree with Godel that a rational religion is coming because theological statements are being proven.
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