Gödel – Husserl – Platonism


We know that in 1959, Husserl started to replace Leibniz as Gödel’s favorite philosopher. We think we know what caused Gödel to shift his theoretical alliance: he perceived a likeness between Husserlian phenomenology and his own goal of demonstrating mathematical realism, and he thought he could use Husserl’s phenomenology to find new axioms for set theory. In this essay, we argue for the claim that insofar as their common goal of a robust realism is concerned, it was a marriage made in heaven or, better, it could have been a happy marriage, were only Gödel prepared to accept some qualifications to his Platonic gut intuitions.

Keywords: Gödel, Husserl, Platonism, mathematical objects, realism, idealism, abstract objects

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