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Additional resources for A World Without Time: The Forgotten Legacy Of Godel And Einstein
Just as Mach's supposedly hard-headed empiricism left him adrift on an ocean of purely mental phenomena, so the formalist rejection of the very idea of mathematical truth turned mathematics into a purely mental construct, a mere game with formulas, with no intrinsic connection to the physical world. " This had the effect of making what Eugene Wigner, decades later, would describe as "the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences" even more unreasonable.
And Godel, in short order, would surprise everyone by striking a fatal blow to the most rigorous attempt to reconstitute mathematics as a formal theory of signs. Schlick himself was never fully awakened. In 1936, when he was fifty-four years old, a mentally unstable former doctoral student of his named Hans Nelbock began to hound and threaten him. Nelbock had been spurned by a fellow student, Sylvia Borowicka, whose romantic inclinations were reserved for the leader of the Vienna Circle. Whether her affections were reciprocated is not known.
Moritz Schlick himself had been a student of Max Planck, the seminal figure in quantum mechanics. He was deeply impressed by Einstein's theory of relativity and published extensively on it, as well as on general epistemology. His most influential work was probably The General Theory of Knowledge. He was clear, quiet, and soft-spoken, politically liberal like most of his associates, but not as likely as they were to mix politics with science and philosophy. He did not strike Karl Menger as a German from Berlin.