Godel Meets Einstein : Time Travel in the Godel Universe by Palle Yourgrau

By Palle Yourgrau

What occurs while the country's maximum philosopher meets the century's maximum physicist? with regards to Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein the outcome in Godel's revolutioinary new version of the cosmos. within the 'Godel Universe' the philosophical myth of time trip turns into a systematic truth. For Godel,however, the truth of time commute indications the unreality of time. If Godel is true, the genuine which means of the Einstein revolution had remained, for part a century, a mystery. Now, half-century after Godel met Einstein, the true which means of time trip within the Godel universe could be printed.

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We see, from this Aristotelian perspective, why the A-series has ontological significance, since it represents the coming into actuality (that is, into actual existence) of the merely potential or possible. We see also why the A-series is successive and incomplete-since the material world, qua material, is always in the process of realizing itself-and also why it is 'branchwise asymmetric'-since although the past is always determinate, and thus unique and linear, the future is indeterminate, 'branching' into open possibilities.

What is crucial for our purposes is the tension between the completeness implicit in the classical concept of reality (Wittgenstein's "all that is the case") and the essential incompleteness that seemingly attends tensed, or temporal, existence. A reconciliation here seems diffIcult indeed. There is always, as it were, something unfinished about the temporal. That is why it can never be complete, or completed, or completely described. Thus Michael Dummett can write, "McTaggart's argument shows that [if time is real] we must abandon our prejudice that there must be a complete description of reality" (1960, p.

He introduced a geometry, then, but he did not attempt to geometrize color. In contrast, the EinsteinMinkowski geometry of space-time is put forward precisely as a geometrization of time, that is, to replace or reduce the intuitive, qualitative features of time to the geometrical (recall the characterization above by Whitrow). Talk of the intuitive content of temporal intuition--the 'given', if you will, of time consciousness-gives way to a purely structural representation of the form of time. The parallel with Hilbert is obvious, as is brought out in the following passage trom Hermann Weyl (1949): Intuitive space and intuitive time are thus hardly the adequate medium in which physics is to construct the external world.

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