Gödel's Notion of Idealistic Time

Thomas Harms (Freie Universität Berlin)

In the late 1940s Kurt Gödel thought about the impact of the special, as well as the general relativity theory on the notion of time. Gödel published three short texts based upon the extensive discussions with Albert Einstein in Princeton (1990a, 1990b, 1990c).
The topic of these conversations were centered around Gödel's solution of Einstein's field equations of general relativity, as well as the distinguishing factors in regards to the idealistic point of view of Kantian philosophy and Einstein's and Friedmann's models of the universe. The understanding of time in terms of an unrealistic, non-objective concept flourished in the discussion with Einstein.
Einstein's solutions allowed the possibility of a concept of an absolute time by measuring the mean motion of matter over large regions of the universe. Gödel's notion of the rotating universes (R-worlds) strengthened the idealistic notion of time as well as the absence of the concept of an absolute lapse of time. In this talk I will follow Gödel's argumentation towards a concept of the unreality of time in contrast to a possible existence of an absolute lapse of time.
Due to several unique properties of Gödel's (static) universe, the possibility of some closed time curves arise. At the end of the talk progressing into the following discussion, the possibility of moving forward in time along a geodesic curve, enabling an object traveling in time, shall be sketched. The problems and consequences will be pointed out briefly.

Last modified: Mon Feb 25 14:32:36 CET 2019