By Palle Yourgrau
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Additional resources for A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy of Godel and Einstein
Philosophically, he rejected Mach's skepticism about the existence of sense-transcendent entities like atoms, cleaving, rather, to Boltzmann's line. But he agreed with Mach that verification is the lifeblood of physical theories, and together with Carnap, Hempel and others, he raised the methodological maxims that had guided Einstein's first steps in relativity to the level of a formal theoretical postulate: the meaning of a scientific term is 40 I A WORLD WITHOUT TIME exhausted by its method of verification (the "verifiability theory of meaning").
G6del did not participate in that seminar, but he did attend one given by the philosopher Moritz Schlick on Bertrand Russell's later work, Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (written while Russell was in jail in England for his protests against British participation in World War I). G6del also attended a seminar on the foundations of mathematics offered by Rudolph Carnap, who had been a student of Frege's at the University of Jena. " In a city full of cliques, salons and discussion groups on every conceivable topic, the Vienna Circle was the most exclusive.
Einstein was merely exploiting, for his own philosophical purposes, certain elements of positivism that in the particular case of special relativity were justified. G6del too would come to exploit elements of the positivist methodology-in his case, the formalism of the Hilbert school of mathematics-to serve his own antipositivist, Platonist ends. Far removed, also, from the positivist creed was Einstein's masterpiece, general relativity, which went beyond the special theory of relativity by providing an account of gravity.