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Bernays, Gödel and Hilbert's consistency program


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Title Bernays, Gödel and Hilbert's consistency program
Title of Series Paul Bernays Lectures 2012
Number of Parts 4
Author Feferman, Solomon
License CC Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 2.5 Switzerland:
You are free to use, copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in unchanged form for any legal and non-commercial purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
DOI 10.5446/36706
Publisher Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich
Release Date 2012
Language English

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Subject Area Mathematics
Abstract Paul Bernays was brought from Zurich to Göttingen in 1917 by David Hilbert - the leading mathematician of the time - to assist him in developing his consistency program for the foundations of mathematics. The major exposition of that work appeared in the 1930s in the two volume opus by Hilbert and Bernays, Grundlagen der Mathematik, whose preparation was due entirely to Bernays. In the meantime, Kurt Gödel, a precocious doctorate in Vienna, had discovered his remarkable incompleteness theorems which threatened to undermine Hilbert’s program. Though Hilbert refused to accept that, Bernays undertook to absorb the significance of those theorems through correspondence with Gödel. This led to a lifelong deep personal and intellectual relationship between the two of them whose high points will be traced in the lecture.


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