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Understanding Godel's Incompleteness Theorems

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    What should I read to understand Godel's incompleteness theorems?

    I own the dover book "On Formally Undecidable Propositions Of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems".

    But it seems to rely on lots of information that I don't know.

    What are the pre-requisites beyond A level mathematics for understanding the book?
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    (Original post by nohomo)
    What should I read to understand Godel's incompleteness theorems?

    I own the dover book "On Formally Undecidable Propositions Of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems".

    But it seems to rely on lots of information that I don't know.

    What are the pre-requisites beyond A level mathematics for understanding the book?
    Working through the proof requires a lot more than understanding a statement of the theorems; what are you aiming for? To understand the statement you could probably get by by browsing Wikipedia for long enough; you want an understanding of the vocabulary of formal logic and a bit of foundational maths. To understand the proofs of the theorems Peter Smith's book on the topic is pretty good, though I only got half-way through.

    EDIT: And I should point out that it's material that would come up in the third or fourth year of a university maths degree, so you shouldn't expect to be able to just read it and understand it straight off (though it could be productive to try, and it certainly doesn't actually require everything you'd cover in two years of a maths degree).
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    (Original post by nohomo)
    What should I read to understand Godel's incompleteness theorems?

    I own the dover book "On Formally Undecidable Propositions Of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems".

    But it seems to rely on lots of information that I don't know.

    What are the pre-requisites beyond A level mathematics for understanding the book?
    Godel's Proof by Ernest Nagel. Very easy introduction to the sexy German logician. Thank me later.

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Updated: July 4, 2012
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