Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel

丽贝卡·戈尔茨坦 Rebecca Goldstein
不完整性:哥德尔悖论和证明(Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel)简介:
Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem, which proved that no formal mathematical system can demonstrate every mathematical truth, is a landmark of modern thought. It's a simple but profound statement, but the technicalities of Gödel's proof are forbidding. If MacArthur Fellow and Whiting–winning novelist and philosopher Goldstein (The Mind-Body Problem) doesn't quite succeed in explaining the proof's mechanics to lay readers, she does a magnificent job of exploring its rich philosophical implications. Postmodernists have appropriated it to undermine science's claims of certainty, objectivity and rationality, but Gödel insisted, to the contrary, that the theorem buttresses a Platonist conception of a transcendent mathematical reality that exists independent of human logic. Goldstein is an excellent choice for this installment of Norton's Great Discoveries series, which seeks to explain the ways of science to humanists. Her philosophical background makes her a sure guide to the underlying ideas, and she brings a novelistic depth of character and atmosphere to her account of the positivist intellectual milieu surrounding Gödel (including a caustic portrait of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein) and to her sympathetic depiction of the logician's tortured psyche, as his relentless search for logical patterns behind life's contingencies gradually darkened into paranoia. The result is a stimulating exploration of both the power and the limitations of the human intellect. Photos.



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  • 不完整性:哥德尔悖论和证明 Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel