**Author**: Hao Wang

**Publisher:** MIT Press

**ISBN:** 9780262730877

**Category:** Biography & Autobiography

**Page:** 336

**View:** 1627

Newton/Descartes. Einstein/Gödel. The seventeenth century had its scientific andphilosophical geniuses. Why shouldn't ours have them as well? Kurt Gödel was indisputably one of thegreatest thinkers of our time, and in this first extended treatment of his life and work, Hao Wang,who was in close contact with Gödel in his last years, brings out the full subtlety of Gödel's ideasand their connection with grand themes in the history of mathematics and philosophy.The subjects hecovers include the completeness of elementary logic, the limits of formalization, the problem ofevidence, the concept of set, the philosophy of mathematics, time, and relativity theory,metaphysics and religion, as well as general ideas on philosophy as a worldview. Wang, whosereflections on his colleague also serve to clarify his own philosophical thoughts, distinguishes hisideas from those of Gödel's and on points of agreement develops Gödel's views further.The bookprovides a generous array of information on and interpretation of the two main phases of Gödel'scareer - the years between 1924 and 1939 at the University of Vienna, which were marked by intensemathematical creativity, and the period from 1940 to his death in 1978, during which he wasaffiliated with the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, a time in which Gödel's interestssteadily shifted from questions of logic to metaphysics. And it also examines Gödel's relations withthe Vienna Circle, his philosophical differences with Carnap and Wittgenstein, the intimate andmutually fruitful friendship with Einstein, and the periodic bouts of depression for which Gödel washospitalized a number of times over the course of his life.Hao Wang is Professor of Logic at TheRockefeller University and author of scores of articles and several books on logic, computers, andphilosophy, including From Mathematics to Philosophy (extensively discussed with Gödel andcontaining contributions by him) and Beyond Analytic Philosophy: Doing Justice to What We Know (MITPress Bradford Books). He is currently preparing a companion volume, Conversations with Kurt Gödelwhich will concentrate on Gödel's unpublished ideas. A Bradford Book.