Wednesday, 7 May 2014

"Mathematicians are supposed to prove things *in* arithmetic, not *about* arithmetic!"

Hitler does not like Gödel's theorem one bit. Perhaps surprisingly, he displays a sophisticated understanding of the implications and presuppositions of the theorem. (In other words, there's some very solid philosophy of logic in the background -- I think I could teach a whole course on the material presupposed here.)

(Courtesy of Diego Tajer, talented young logician from Buenos Aires, giving continuation to the best Monty Python tradition!)


1 comment:

  1. That was quite entertaining, thank you!

    If I may be pardoned being serious: similarly to the notorious business of "Deutsche Physik" in the Nazi period, I'm sure meta-mathematical limitative results like Gödel's could easily have been condemned as corrupt "Jewish Mathematics", much like the physics of Gödel's no less famous friend and colleague at the Institute for Advanced Studies. A quick Google search brought up this interesting article - such "accusations" were indeed bandied about: http://www.jstor.org/stable/231607

    And I think Bieberbach among others led a purge of maths departments in universities, etc., but I don't know any of the details (e.g., whether mathematical logic or parts of it were deemed politically suspect).

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