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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to Gödel
Simply magnificent. This book meets and exceeds the description on its back cover -- offering "any educated person with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to satisfy his intellectual curiosity about a previously inaccessible subject." This book gives anyone with the interest and the motivation a solid, if not complete, understanding of the ideas...
Published on 27 Jun 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elusive 'click' failed to get a foothold.
I have to go against the flow of reviews and give this 3. I am not a mathematician, but a computer scientist (who has worked with applied mathematics). I found Nagel and Newman's exposition of Gödel's theorems good to a point, but, despite several re-reads, the "click" of the elusive intuition didn't materialise.

I continued my search to understand...
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to Gödel, 27 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Paperback)
Simply magnificent. This book meets and exceeds the description on its back cover -- offering "any educated person with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to satisfy his intellectual curiosity about a previously inaccessible subject." This book gives anyone with the interest and the motivation a solid, if not complete, understanding of the ideas underlying the proof. While it's true that someone very unfamiliar with mathematics (or, more importantly, with logic and mathematical thinking) would not get as much out of the book, it does a very good job of walking the reader through Gödel's complex but breathtakingly elegant reasoning. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding introductory text, 24 Nov 2004
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
For those interested, but uninitiated, in the philosophy of mathematics or mathematical philosophy should seriously consider reading this excellent introductory text. In a highly concise and lucid manner, the authors successfully explain the origins, development and details of Godel's proof and examine some of the wider implication of it.
It is not, however, particularly easy reading. Unlike reading a novel, it requires some effort to fully understand and grapple with the strange but intriguing concepts discussed. No background or logic necessary; technicalities are generally avoided.
All in all, outstanding. Well worth buying.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Introduction, 16 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Paperback)
I Read this book in an afternoon. While this book covers many of Godels ideas, concepts, and systematically works throught the incompleteness theory, it does however lack the fine detail of the actual theorem. I recomend this book for those who wish to find out aout Godels Proof, without wanting the know the fine details.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is very clear and explains its subject thouroughly, 27 Feb 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Paperback)
This book, Godel's Proof, explains a complex subject in easy to understand language. It guides you through every step of the way, teaching all the information you need to understand the proof before it attempts to explain the proof itself. I found it to be very interesting. This is the only math book I have ever read of my own free will. I recomend this book to anyone who has a slight intrest in math or logic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nagel and Newman, 16 July 2008
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R. H. Barton (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
This book by Nagel and Newman is a great classic, clever and suited to the intellectually curious who have not the patience (or talent) for the full syntax of mathematical logic.

Aside: It is a little misleading that Amazon, in their header, say "By Douglas R.Hofstadter, ..." as he wrote the preface only to this much later reprinted edition.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best introduction for the most revolutionary proof in Logic., 13 Sep 2007
By 
Antonios F. Arkas (Athens, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
"Gödel's Proof" is a classic. Despite of being brief it doesn't sacrifice punctuality for length. There are no superfluous paragraphs in this book which leads the leader with steady but not lengthy steps to the understanding of the greatest leap taken in the field of Mathematical Logic. The text is not written in a technical style and even the few mathematical proofs found at the last chapters are indispensable for understanding the heard of Gödel's Proof.

Don't be confused from the mathematical title of this book and think that this book is written only for mathematicians. On the contrary I believe that the importance of this proof reaches every natural science because the language used from the majority of the these sciences is mathematics and therefore the characteristics of the language used to describe natural processes affects the epistemological foundations of the aforementioned natural sciences.

This unique textbook has also a lot to do with cognitive science and the way we think as human beings while trying to understand our natural environment. For this reason I consider "Gödel's Proof" as a wonderful book of cognitive science too. I truly recommend this book to anyone who want to take a deep dive in the big blue of what mathematics are and their connection with empirical reality. It is the best book to get a good feeling about Mathematical Logic and reasoning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elusive 'click' failed to get a foothold., 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Godel's Proof (Kindle Edition)
I have to go against the flow of reviews and give this 3. I am not a mathematician, but a computer scientist (who has worked with applied mathematics). I found Nagel and Newman's exposition of Gödel's theorems good to a point, but, despite several re-reads, the "click" of the elusive intuition didn't materialise.

I continued my search to understand Gödel and found a more intuiitive exposition in "Incompleteness" by Rebecca Goldstein. The key difference in Goldstein's exposition was to make clear the "diagonal lemma". Goldstein states that Gödel "didn't actually use it, but rather derived the particular case"; it does however convey the entrance of self-referentiality more clearly. Nagel and Newman's text does not mention the "diagonal lemma". I would recommend Goldstein's text to lay persons seeking an intuitive grasp of the incompleteness theorem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cling on by your mental fingertips, 30 Dec 2010
By 
S Gleadall (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
I read this cover to cover in one go and required painkillers at the end; I presume I was using parts of my grey matter that rarely get such a workout! The authors translate Godel's paper into something that it is possible to follow; this is no mean feat. The original paper is pretty inaccessible to the layman, but this book is achievable if you are of a certain mental persuasion. The material is, by its very nature, intensely abstract.

But if you can make it to the end and have followed even the gist of the proof, you will feel tremendously enriched. This book is a brilliant work that allows the reader to understand one of the most important intellectual achievements of the 20th century.

An exceptionally challenging but rewarding piece that I recommend highly.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greatly Mind Expanding For Those Receptive Enough, 19 July 2014
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
A very brief but excellent conceptual summary of Godel's theorems that touches on some of the technicalities aswell. It introduces some of the philosophical,mathematical and logical underpinning while capturing the general import of Godel's achievement.Obviously I wouldn't tackle the complex mathematical logic involved in the proofs themselves after reading just this book; for that a course in mathematical logic would be necessary and/or a more technically minded introduction like Peter Smith's superb, comprehensive introduction.

If you want a good idea of what Godel theorems are about, this is a very good place to start.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and to the Point, 3 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Paperback)
This is an excellent summary of Godel's main ideas. If you want to understand Godel's proof in less than 100 pages, look no further.
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Godel's Proof
Godel's Proof by James R. Newman (Hardcover - 31 Oct 2001)
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