# Kurt Gödel, A Biography Of A Man Who Asked Why

**Kurt Gödel is without a doubt one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. **We could say that his contribution opened up the foundations of mathematics as they have been understood since those times. Not only did Gödel prove that there were inconsistencies in the already known knowledge, but he also proved that logic also has significant limitations.

This incredible scholar is also proof that **reason and unreasonableness can coexist perfectly, both in theory and in man.**

Kurt Gödel was an absolutely brilliant man, but he also had some completely irrational beliefs. **He was a paranoid genius where both intellect and madness lived together at the same time.**

**In other words, Kurt Gödel proved that not all mathematical truths could be proved. **Or, as the BBC article (original news in Spanish) refers to: “What Gödel did was use mathematics to prove that mathematics could not prove everything in mathematics.” From this premise it can be concluded that **there are truths, both in mathematics and in other fields which, despite the truth, cannot be proved.**

**Kurt Gödel: The man who asked why**

**The man who asked why; this nickname was given to him by his own family. **Gödel always seemed to be a person with an uncontrollable curiosity about the world. He wanted to know everything and he needed to find an explanation for everything. That’s why he just asked and asked, and as a result, he earned his famous nickname *Herr Warum* aka Mr. Why.

Kurt Gödel was born on April 28, 1906 in a town called Brünn, which at that time belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The area later became Czechoslovakia, and currently Brno is part of the Czech Republic. **In any case, the issue of different nationalities was very complex for Gödel.**

He came from a German family and did not speak Czech. With the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he became a Czechoslovak citizen overnight. Not feeling part of this state, he decided to apply for Austrian citizenship in 1923. Later, during World War II, Germany annexed Austria and, as a result, Gödel became a German citizen. **Finally, after World War II, he gained U.S. citizenship and remained in that country until his death.**

**A wonderful work by Kurt Gödel**

**Before the time of Kurt Gödel, in the scientific panorama, mathematics formed a terrain of absolute certainty. **In other words, this area was inhabited by something that every scholar was looking for: the truth. This fact seemed indisputable until the signs of crisis began to emerge.

In the early 20th century, the mathematician Georg Cantor had sown the seeds of doubt in the field of mathematics, which ended up growing thanks to the Russell paradox.

The purpose of another famous mathematician, David Hilbert, was again to turn the page and prove that **the foundations of his sciences were just as solid as had always been assumed. **He put considerable effort into his work until the dissertation of a young man named Kurt Gödel appeared and succeeded in proving something quite the opposite.

Kurt Gödel had graduated with honors from the University of Vienna and had only an 11-page dissertation in which he presented his theory of imperfection. **Using mathematics, he managed to show that there is always at least one proposition that cannot be proved, even if it were true.**

In 1936, one of his teachers was killed at the hands of the Nazis. As a result of this incident, Gödel suffered a nervous breakdown, as a result of which he had to be treated in several different psychiatric institutions.

## Kurt Gödel and the work of a long breath

In 1938, Kurt Gödel married Adele Nimbursky. Nimbursky was a former dancer and six years older than Gödel. **Gödel remained with Nimbursky until his death. **

The year after her marriage, Gödel was found fit to perform her military service with the Nazis, and the couple therefore decided to flee to the United States by boarding a long and heavy Trans-Siberian train. **After an exhausting journey, they finally arrived in Princeton, New Jersey, where Gödel continued his work.**

**His friendship with Albert Einstein was a mere proverb. **They were often seen together on campus, taking afternoon trips and chatting with each other non-stop.

Gödel was also a great scholar of philosophy, and both his mathematical knowledge and his philosophical unrest led him to argue about “Gödel’s ontological demonstration”. **This dissertation consisted, in short, of an attempt to prove the existence of God.**

Despite his complex and premature theories, Kurt Gödel suffered much of his life from paranoid thoughts and depressive states. **It was not easy for Gödel to understand that all truths were questionable, even the truth itself.**

Gödel was also convinced that someone wanted to poison him, and therefore he agreed to eat only the foods that his wife, Adele Nimbursky, prepared. However, his wife became seriously ill and spent six months in the hospital; **during that time, this genius and “one of the greatest logicians of all time” died of starvation on January 14, 1978. **Gödel is buried in Princeton University Cemetery along with many other great men and women, including U.S. President Grover Cleveland, U.S. Declaration of Independence signatory John Witherspoon, and mathematician John von Neumann.