The critical edition of the notebooks ‘Maxims / Philosophy’ of the great mathematician
Kurt Gödel was not just a mathematician of genius and world-famous logician, but also a metaphysician – even though his introduction to academic life occurred inter alia within the ‘Vienna Circle,’ which was committed to the abolition of metaphysics. The Kurt Gödel Research Centre is producing for the first time a complete edition of his ‘Philosophical Remarks,’ which are preserved in 15 large notebooks. The Centre is thus opening up for study a philosophical reflection that redefines the relation between philosophy and science.
Kurt Gödel’s own philosophical self-assessment is revealed in the following short letter of August 19, 1975, to Burke D. Grandjean: “Replying to your inquiries I would like to say that I don’t consider my work a ‘facet of the intellectual atmosphere of the early 20th century,’ but rather the opposite. It is true that my interest in the foundations of mathematics was aroused by the ‘Vienna Circle,’ but the philosophical consequences of my results, as well as the heuristic principles leading to them, are anything but positivistic or empiristic.” (Kurt Gödel, Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 443f.)
The Kurt Gödel Research Centre has been set up on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture for a period of 10 years.