Kurt Gödel

Kurt Gödel

] . These "rotating universes" would allow time travel and caused Einstein to have doubts about his own theory. His solutions are known as the Gödel metric.

During his many years at the Institute, Gödel's interests turned to philosophy and physics. He studied and admired the works of Gottfried Leibniz, but came around to the (unsupported) belief that most of Leibniz's works had been suppressed. To a lesser extent he studied Kant and Edmund Husserl. In the early 1970s, Gödel circulated among his friends an elaboration of Leibniz's version of Anselm of Canterbury's ontological proof of God's existence. This is now known as Gödel's ontological proof.

Gödel became a permanent member of the IAS in 1946. Around this time he stopped publishing, though he continued to work. He became a full professor at the Institute in 1953 and an emeritus professor in 1976.

Gödel was awarded (with Julian Schwinger) the first Albert Einstein Award, in 1951, and was also awarded the National Medal of Science, in 1974.


In later life, Gödel suffered periods of mental instability and illness.He had an obsessive fear of being poisoned; he wouldn't eat unless his wife, Adele, tasted his food for him.Late in 1977, Adele was hospitalized for six months and could not taste Gödel's food anymore.In her absence, he refused to eat, eventually starving himself to death.He was 65 pounds when he died. His death certificate reported that he died of "malnutrition and inanition caused by personality disturbance" in Princeton Hospital on January 14, 1978. [cite book
last = Toates
first = Frederick
coauthors = Olga Coschug Toates
title = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Practical Tried-and-Tested Strategies to Overcome OCD
publisher = Class Publishing
year = 2002
pages = 221
isbn = 978-1859590690


The Kurt Gödel Society, founded in 1987, was named in his honor. It is an international organization for the promotion of research in the areas of logic, philosophy, and the history of mathematics.

Gödel's friendship with Einstein

Albert Einstein and Gödel had a legendary friendship, shared in the walks they took together to and from the Institute for Advanced Study. The nature of their conversations was a mystery to the other Institute members. Economist Oskar Morgenstern recounts that toward the end of his life Einstein confided that his "own work no longer meant much, that he came to the Institute merely…to have the privilege of walking home with Gödel". [cite book
last = Goldstein
first = Rebecca
authorlink = Rebecca Goldstein
title = Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel
publisher = W. W. Norton
year = 2005
pages = 33
isbn = 978-0393051698

Einstein and Morgenstern coached Gödel for his U.S. citizenship exam, concerned that their friend's unpredictable behavior might jeopardize his chances. When the Nazi regime was briefly mentioned, Gödel informed the presiding judge that he had discovered a way in which a dictatorship could be legally installed in the United States, through a logical contradiction in the U.S. Constitution. Neither the judge, nor Einstein or Morgenstern allowed Gödel to finish his line of thought and he was awarded citizenship. [cite journal
last = Holt
first = Jim
title = The Loophole: A logician challenges the Constitution
journal = Lingua Franca
month = February | year = 1998
url = http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/9802/hyp.html| accessdate = 2007-11-17

Gödel in popular culture

In the 1994 romantic comedy "I.Q." directed by Fred Schepisi, Gödel was dramatized as a secondary character portrayed by actor Lou Jacobi. The film portrays Gödel without his paranoia and fully enjoying his retirement.

Gödel and his work concerning spacetime and general relativity make a cameo in Neal Stephenson's novel "Anathem".

Important publications

In German:
*1931, "Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der "Principia Mathematica" und verwandter Systeme," "Monatshefte für Mathematik und Physik 38": 173-98.
*1932, "Zum intuitionistischen Aussagenkalkül", "Anzeiger Akademie der Wissenschaften Wien" 69: 65–66.

In English:
*1940. "The Consistency of the Axiom of Choice and of the Generalized Continuum Hypothesis with the Axioms of Set Theory." Princeton University Press.
*1947. "What is Cantor's continuum problem?" "The American Mathematical Monthly 54": 515-25. Revised version in Paul Benacerraf and Hilary Putnam, eds., 1984 (1964). "Philosophy of Mathematics: Selected Readings". Cambridge Univ. Press: 470-85.

In English translation:
* Kurt Godel, 1992. "On Formally Undecidable Propositions Of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems", tr. B. Meltzer, with a comprehensive introduction by Richard Braithwaite. Dover reprint of the 1962 Basic Books edition.
* Kurt Godel, 2000. http://www.research.ibm.com/people/h/hirzel/papers/canon00-goedel.pdf "On Formally Undecidable Propositions Of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems", tr. Martin Hirzel
*Jean van Heijenoort, 1967. "A Source Book in Mathematical Logic, 1879-1931". Harvard Univ. Press.
**1930. "The completeness of the axioms of the functional calculus of logic," 582-91.
**1930. "Some metamathematical results on completeness and consistency," 595-96. Abstract to (1931).
**1931. "On formally undecidable propositions of "Principia Mathematica" and related systems," 596-616.
**1931a. "On completeness and consistency," 616-17.

*"Collected Works": Oxford University Press: New York. Editor-in-chief: Solomon Feferman.
**Volume I: Publications 1929-1936 ISBN 0195039645,
**Volume II: Publications 1938-1974 ISBN 0195039726,
**Volume III: Unpublished Essays and Lectures ISBN 0195072553,
**Volume IV: Correspondence, A-G ISBN 0198500734.
**Volume V: Correspondence, H-Z ISBN 0198500750

ee also

*Gödel dust, an exact solution of the Einstein field equation
*Gödel Prize
*Gödel programming language
*"Gödel, Escher, Bach"
*Gödel's Slingshot
*List of Austrian scientists



* Dawson, John W., 1997. "Logical dilemmas: The life and work of Kurt Gödel". Wellesley MA: A K Peters.
* 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brünn. (2007, September 19). In Wikisource, The Free Library. Retrieved 10PM EST 13 March, 2008, from http://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Br%C3%BCnn&oldid=447734

Further reading

* Depauli-Schimanovich, Werner, and Casti, John L., 19nn. "Gödel: A life of logic." Perseus.
* Franzén, Torkel, 2005. "Gödel's Theorem: An Incomplete Guide to Its Use and Abuse". Wellesley, MA: A K Peters.
* Ivor Grattan-Guinness, 2000. "The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870–1940". Princeton Univ. Press.
* Jaakko Hintikka, 2000. "On Gödel". Wadsworth.
* Douglas Hofstadter, 1980. "Gödel, Escher, Bach". Vintage.
* Stephen Kleene, 1967. "Mathematical Logic". Dover paperback reprint ca. 2001.
* J.R. Lucas, 1970. "The Freedom of the Will". Clarendon Press, Oxford.
* Ernst Nagel and Newman, James R., 1958. "Gödel's Proof." New York Univ. Press.
* Procházka, Jiří, 2006, 2006, 2008. "Kurt Gödel: 1906–1978: Genealogie". ITEM, Brno. Volume I. Brno 2006, ISBN 80-902297-9-4. In Ger., Engl. Volume II. Brno 2006, ISBN 80-903476-0-6. In Germ., Engl. Volume III. Brno 2008, ISBN 80-903476-4-9. In Germ., Engl.
* Ed Regis, 1987. "Who Got Einstein's Office?" Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.
* Raymond Smullyan, 1992. "Godel's Incompleteness Theorems". Oxford University Press.
* Hao Wang, 1987. "Reflections on Kurt Gödel." MIT Press.
* Wang, Hao. 1996. A Logical Journey: From Godel to Philosophy. MIT Press.
* Yourgrau, Palle, 1999. "Gödel Meets Einstein: Time Travel in the Gödel Universe." Chicago: Open Court.
* Yourgrau, Palle, 2004. "A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein." Basic Books.

External links

* Kennedy, Juliette. [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/goedel "Kurt Gödel."] In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
* [http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/at/godel.htm Kurt Gödel "The modern development of the foundations of mathematics in the light of philosophy"]
* [http://www.newyorker.com/critics/atlarge/?050228crat_atlarge Time Bandits] - an article about the relationship between Gödel and Einstein by Jim Holt
* [http://plus.maths.org/issue39/features/dawson/ "Gödel and the limits of logic"] by John W Dawson Jr. (June 2006)
* [http://www.ams.org/notices/200604/200604-toc.html Notices of the AMS, April 2006, Volume 53, Number 4] Kurt Gödel Centenary Issue
* [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2006/1807626.htm Paul Davies and Freeman Dyson discuss Kurt Godel]
* [http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/goldstein05/goldstein05_index.html "Gödel and the Nature of Mathematical Truth"] Edge: A Talk with Rebecca Goldstein on Kurt Gödel.
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3503877302082311448&hl=en Dangerous Knowledge] Google Video of a BBC documentary featuring Kurt Gödel and other revolutionary mathematical thinkers.

NAME=Gödel, Kurt
SHORT DESCRIPTION=logician, mathematician, and philosopher of mathematics
DATE OF BIRTH=birth date|1906|4|28|mf=y
DATE OF DEATH=death date|1978|1|14|mf=y
PLACE OF DEATH=Princeton, New Jersey

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