Journey to the Edge of Reason: The Life of Kurt Gödel
Nearly a hundred years after its publication, Kurt G del's famous proof that every mathematical system must contain propositions that are true--yet never provable--continues to unsettle mathematics, philosophy, and computer science. Yet unlike Einstein, with whom he formed a warm and abiding friendship, G del has long escaped all but the most casual scrutiny of his life.
Stephen Budiansky's Journey to the Edge of Reason is the first biography to fully draw upon G del's voluminous letters and writings--including a never-before-transcribed shorthand diary of his most intimate thoughts--to explore G del's profound intellectual friendships, his moving relationship with his mother, his troubled yet devoted marriage, and the debilitating bouts of paranoia that ultimately took his life. It also offers an intimate portrait of the scientific and intellectual circles in prewar Vienna, a haunting account of G del's and Jewish intellectuals' flight from Austria and Germany at the start of the Second World War, and a vivid re-creation of the early days of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, where G del and Einstein both worked.
Eloquent and insightful, Journey to the Edge of Reason is a fully realized portrait of the odd, brilliant, and tormented man who has been called the greatest logician since Aristotle, and illuminates the far-reaching implications of G del's revolutionary ideas for philosophy, mathematics, artificial intelligence, and man's place in the cosmos.
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