Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 11 (2):172-184 (2005)

Wilfried Sieg
Carnegie Mellon University
Two young logicians, whose work had a dramatic impact on the direction of logic, exchanged two letters in early 1931. Jacques Herbrand initiated the correspondence on 7 April and Kurt Gödel responded on 25 July, just two days before Herbrand died in a mountaineering accident at La Bérarde (Isère). Herbrand's letter played a significant role in the development of computability theory. Gödel asserted in his 1934 Princeton Lectures and on later occasions that it suggested to him a crucial part of the definition of a general recursive function. Understanding this role in detail is of great interest as the notion is absolutely central. The full text of the letter had not been available until recently, and its content (as reported by Gödel) was not in accord with Herbrand's contemporaneous published work. Together, the letters reflect broader intellectual currents of the time: they are intimately linked to the discussion of the incompleteness theorems and their potential impact on Hilbert's Program.
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DOI 10.2178/bsl/1120231628
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References found in this work BETA

Mechanical Procedures and Mathematical Experience.Wilfried Sieg - 1994 - In Alexander George (ed.), Mathematics and Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 71--117.
Some Facts About Kurt Gödel.Hao Wang - 1981 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 46 (3):653-659.

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The Physical Church-Turing Thesis: Modest or Bold?Gualtiero Piccinini - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):733-769.
Kurt Gödel and Computability Theory.Richard Zach - 2006 - In Arnold Beckmann, Ulrich Berger, Benedikt Löwe & John V. Tucker (eds.), Logical Approaches to Computational Barriers. Second Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2006, Swansea. Proceedings. Berlin: Springer. pp. 575--583.
Jean van Heijenoort and the Gödel Editorial Project.John W. Dawson - 2012 - Logica Universalis 6 (3-4):293-299.

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