- Gerhard Gentzen
Gerhard Karl Erich Gentzen (
November 24, 1909, Greifswald, Germany– August 4, 1945, Prague, Czechoslovakia) was a German mathematicianand logician.
He was one of
Hermann Weyl's students at the University of Göttingenfrom 1929 to 1933. Gentzen's main work was on the foundations of mathematics, in proof theory, specifically natural deductionand the sequent calculus. His cut-elimination theoremis the cornerstone of proof-theoretic semantics, and some philosophical remarks in his "Investigations into Logical Deduction", together with Ludwig Wittgenstein's aphorism that "meaning is use", constitute the starting point for inferential role semantics. He proved the consistency of the Peano axiomsin 1936.
Gentzen was a member of the NSDAP and the SA. Between 1934 and 1943 he was assistant of
David Hilbertin Göttingen. Since 1943 he was a professor at the University of Prague. [ [http://math.muni.cz/math/biografie/gerhard_gentzen.html Gerhard Gentzen ] at math.muni.cz] After war he starved to death in Prague, after being arrested like all other Germans in Prague on May 7, 1945. [Menzler-Trott, p. 273 ff.]
* "Die Widerspruchsfreiheit der reinen Zahlentheorie". In Mathematische Annalen 112 (1936): 493-565
Gentzen's consistency proof
* Eckart Menzler-Trott: "Gentzens Problem: Mathematische Logik im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland". Birkhäuser Verlag 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6574-9
** Edward Griffor and Craig Smorynski (trans.): "Logic's Lost Genius: The Life of Gerhard Gentzen (History of Mathematics, vol. 33)". American Mathematical Society 2007, ISBN 978-0821835500 ("an English translation")
* M. E. Szabo: "Collected Papers of Gerhard Gentzen". North-Holland 1969
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