|Abstract||Kurt Gödel (1906-1978) has been called the greatest logician since Aristotle. He was unquestionably the greatest logician of the 20th century, which has been the greatest century for logic since Aristotle's. Despite this stature, his name is little known outside professional circles of logic and mathematics, and astonishingly little is known about his life. His low profile cannot be due to the fact that his major achievements are complex and demanding, unintelligible to the uninitiated, for that is also true of his best friend, Albert Einstein. Nor can it be that Gödel was more conventional than Einstein. He did comb his hair and wear socks, but Gödel's reclusive and reserved personality, thin owlish appearance, forbidding glances, hypochondria, and paranoia are at least as easy to romanticize as Einstein's eccentricities. Part of the cause of his narrower fame must lie in the fact that Einstein's theories were acclaimed as triumphs, while the initial judgment on Gödel's theorems was that they constituted a first-rate calamity for logic and mathematics.|
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