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# A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Gödel And Einstein

[Yourgrau] presents the nature of an intimate friendship between two magnificent thinkers and the nature of Godel's work, which inspired Einstein but is now lost in obscurity. (Deseret Morning News) In 1942, the logician Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein became close friends; they walked to and from their offices every day, exchanging ideas about science, philosophy, politics
...more

Paperback, 224 pages

Published
January 24th 2006
by Basic Books
(first published December 28th 2004)

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## Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)

Let's start by getting some basic facts straight:

1) Both Godel and Einstein were geniuses who made very fundamental contributions at a rather young age. Godel made one major contribution and Einstein made several contributions including his phD which is one of the most cited papers in physics - it is the use of diffusion in hot liquids to measure a certain constant, but the technique d ...more

Jun 04, 2009
Isabelle
rated it
it was amazing

Recommends it for:
anyone interested in the philosophy of math, science and especially -- time!

Absolutely phenomenal look at Godel's influence on modern science and his response to Einstein's SR and GR (which contain his theories on SR and GR not allowing for an intuitive notion of flowing time). Amazing insight into the logical positivist movement and Godel's incompleteness theorem, which Yourgrau explains in succinctly (as succinct as it can possibly get) and clearly. Also is a wonderful look at both Godel and Einstein as men and their friendship. Highly recommend it to anyone who quest
...more

Two of the figures involved in these results became deep friends in their late years at Princeton: the voluble Einstein and the strange reclusive Gödel, and this book dwells on the development of their philosophical views and the outcomes of some of that thought in the late work of Kurt Gödel.

Gödel, it is to ...more

Relativity was the starting point for Gödel's inquiry into alternative relativistic spacetimes and their implications for our intuitive sense of time, and he concluded that time does not exist in any sense that resembles our int ...more

Sep 05, 2007
Rob
rated it
really liked it

Recommends it for:
people who are already interested in godel and einstein, not beginners

Shelves:
non-fiction-for-egghead-spacealiens

when Kurt Godel died, he weighed 65 pounds. quite possibly the greatest genius ever had become super-crazy and basically starved himself to death due to extreme hypochondria and paranoia. the personal lives and struggles of geniuses are generally interesting to learn about, but come on, aren't their brilliant thoughts much more interesting?

i guess the author wrote a book in 1999 on the same subject, aimed at academic philosophers. then a publisher convinced him to take that book, hack out lots ...more

i guess the author wrote a book in 1999 on the same subject, aimed at academic philosophers. then a publisher convinced him to take that book, hack out lots ...more

... will be the most appropriate legacy of Kurt Goedel.

READ THIS BOOK for an accessible and entertaining summary of Goedel's important contributions to mathematical logic, his troubled life, and the shamefully defensive response of professional philosophy.

DON'T READ IT for insights into Einstein (a very minor part of the story) or the nature of time.

The title of Palle Yourgau's book A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel And Einstein promises new insight ...more

"His approach, then, would take the form of a frontal assault on the ontological implications of relativity theory."

What is this book about? Well, simplistically, if you subscribe to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, then you must conclude that time does, not exist if you follow Godel's reasoning. The book covers Kurt Godel, his entrenchment in the Vienna circle before WWII, his philosophy his friendship with Einstein, hi ...more

Kurt Godel is a man whom next to nobody has heard of. A 20th century math logician caught in the Nazi drive to rid the world of Jews (he was not Jewish, but he was smart, and that was enough to implicate you in the deep and thoughtful Nazi mind...OK? *rolls eyes*). His eventual emigration to the United States landed him at Princeton where Einstein already had settled. Einstein was a jovial, ...more

It is actually hard to characterize Goedel, since his work in logic and the foundations of mathematics actually defines him not just as a logician, but also as a philosopher. My understanding after reading this book is that Goedel not only proved the Incompleteness Theorem, which was a very ne ...more

In general, I'm glad I found this book because Godel's notion that intuitive time does not exist mak ...more

Jan 01, 2016
David M
added it

I confess to having troubles following the logic of the incompleteness theorem, but I don't doubt it was one of the great intellectual achievements of the twentieth century, and its implications are endlessly fascinating.

Otherwise my main takeaways from this book: Godel loved Leibniz and considered Husserl the most important twentieth century philosopher (if that doesn't give you added motivation to read those two, I don't know what will); also, Godel spent a large chunk of his life working out ...more

Otherwise my main takeaways from this book: Godel loved Leibniz and considered Husserl the most important twentieth century philosopher (if that doesn't give you added motivation to read those two, I don't know what will); also, Godel spent a large chunk of his life working out ...more

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“There is no doubt that Einstein's pipe was his closest associate, while others--including wife and family--were never permitted the illusion that they would ever be at the center of his life.”
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“For Einstein, as for Gödel, philosophy without ontology was an illusion, and physics without philosophy reduced to engineering.”
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