Graduate studies at Western
|Abstract||The volumes of G¨ odel’s collected papers under review consist almost entirely of a rich selection of his philosophical/scientific correspondence, including English translations face-to-face with the originals when the latter are in German. The residue consists of correspondence with editors (more amusing than of any scientific value) and five letters from G¨ odel to his mother, in which explains to her his religious views. The term “selection” is strongly operative here: The editors state the total number of items of personal and scientific correspondence in G¨ odel’s Nachlass to be around thirty-five hundred. The correspondence selected involves fifty correspondents, and the editors list the most prominent of these: Paul Bernays, William Boone, Rudolph Carnap. Paul Cohen, Burton Dreben, Jacques Herbrand, Arend Heyting, Karl Menger, Ernest Nagel, Emil Post, Abraham Robinson, Alfred Tarski, Stanislaw Ulam, John von Neumann, Hao Wang, and Ernest Zermelo. The correspondence is arranged alphebetically, with A-G in Volume IV. The imbalance results from the disproportionate size of the Bernays correrspondence: 85 letters are included (almost all of them), spanning 234 pages) including the face-to-face originals and translations). Each volume contains a calendar of all the items included in the volume together with separate calendars listing all known correspondence (whether included or not) with the major correspondents (seven in Volume IV and ten in Volume V). Let me recommend to the reader the review of these same volumes by Paolo Mancosu in the Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 45 (2004):109- 125. This essay very nicely describes much of the correspondence in terms of broad themes relating, especially, to the incompleteness theorems—their origins in G¨ odel’s thought, their reception, their impact on Hilbert’s program.|
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