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  • Kurt Godel's landmark paper achieves $69,000 in Los Angeles
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Godel'sKurtlandmarkpaper

Kurt Godel's landmark paper achieves $69,000 in Los Angeles

A first edition author's presentation offprint issue of Kurt Godel's 1931 landmark paper "On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I" was the top selling lot at Bonhams' Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in Los Angeles on October 16, making $68,750.

Godel Principia Mathematica
Godel's paper is famous for its first and second incompleteness theorems

The book, which lays out Godel's theorems along with his methodology, had a significant impact in the fields of mathematics, computer science and philosophy.

John Von Neumann, the great Hungarian-American mathematician, commented at the time it was published: "Kurt Godel's achievement in modern logic is singular and monumental - indeed it is more than a monument, it is a landmark which will remain visible far in space and time."

A typed letter by Albert Einstein also performed well at the auction, making $62,500.

Einstein letter Bonhams
Einstein's letter is dated July 21, 1953

It was written in response to a student's query regarding the likelihood of the existence of God in the universe, to which Einstein responds: "I see no justification for the introduction of such a concept. In any case, it does not facilitate the understanding of the orderliness we find in the perceivable world".

A similar letter, sent to Jewish professor Erik Gutkind shortly before Einstein died, making plain the scientist's views on religion, sold for just over $3m on eBay last year.

A US revolutionary war broadside, printed just three days before the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775, sold for $56,250.

The patriot flyer mocks British general Thomas Gage's declaration of martial law in Massachusetts.

We have this rare Peter Force print of the Declaration of Independence.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • Godel'sKurtlandmarkpaper