"Gödel believed that truth - most paradigmatically, mathematical truth - subsists independently of any human point of view. If ever there was a man committed to the objectivity of truth, and to objective standards of rationality, it was Gödel. And so the usurpation of his theorems by postmodernists is ironic. Jean Cocteau wrote in 1926 that “The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.” For a logician, especially one with Gödel’s delicate psychology, the tragedy is perhaps even greater."
So naïve and otherworldly was the great logician that Einstein felt obliged to help look after the practical aspects of his life. One much retailed story concerns Gödel’s decision after the war to become an American citizen. The character witnesses at his hearing were to be Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern, one of the founders of game theory. Gödel took the matter of citizenship with great solemnity, preparing for the exam by making a close study of the United States Constitution. On the eve of the hearing, he called Morgenstern in an agitated state, saying he had found an “inconsistency” in the Constitution, one that could allow a dictatorship to arise. Morgenstern was amused, but he realized that Gödel was serious and urged him not to mention it to the judge, fearing that it would jeopardize Gödel’s citizenship bid. On the short drive to Trenton the next day, with Morgenstern serving as chauffeur, Einstein tried to distract Gödel with jokes. When they arrived at the courthouse, the judge was impressed by Gödel’s eminent witnesses, and he invited the trio into his chambers. After some small talk, he said to Gödel, “Up to now you have held German citizenship.”
No, Gödel corrected, Austrian.
“In any case, it was under an evil dictatorship,” the judge continued. “Fortunately that’s not possible in America.”
“On the contrary, I can prove it is possible!” Gödel exclaimed, and he began describing the constitutional loophole he had descried. But the judge told the examinee that “he needn’t go into that,” and Einstein and Morgenstern succeeded in quieting him down. A few months later, Gödel took his oath of citizenship.
...self-reference, whether with russell's set categories or using mathematics to comment on the "human activity mathematicians do," is itself suspect.
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