Thursday, February 24, 2005

New Yorker Article About Godel & Einstein


Blogger Mike Gorman said...

This is a great article--fascinating, funny, and so revealing of the personalities of these two men.

Particularly intriguing to me is the discussion of Goedel's belief "that time, as it was intuitively understood, did not exist *at all*, and mention of "a passionate champion in Palle Yourgrau, a professor of philosophy at Brandeis. In “A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel and Einstein” (Perseus; $24)", Yourgrau does his best to redress his fellow-philosophers’ neglect of the case that Gödel made against time. The “deafening silence,” he submits, can be blamed on the philosophical prejudices of the era. Behind all the esoteric mathematics, Gödel’s reasoning looked suspiciously metaphysical. To this day, Yourgrau complains, Gödel is treated with condescension by philosophers, who regard him, in the words of one, as “a logician par excellence but a philosophical fool.” After ably tracing Gödel’s life, his logical achievements, and his friendship with Einstein, Yourgrau elaborately defends his importance as a philosopher of time. “In a deep sense,” he concludes, “we all do live in Gödel’s universe.”

Definitely next on my reading list.

February 26, 2005 at 6:13 PM  

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