The essay centers on Godel's views on the place of our intuitive concept of time in philosophy and in physics. It presents my interpretation of his work on the theory of relativity, his observations on the relationship between Einstein's theory and Kantian philosophy, as well as some of the scattered remarks in his conversations with me in the seventies-namely, those of the philosophies of Leibniz, Hegel and Husserl-as a successor of Kant-in relation to their conceptions of time.
This paper follows up the analysis of relativity theory begun by Margenau and Mould, by including electromagnetic theory which in their treatment was tacitly accepted. It is shown that the experiments on which Margenau and Mould rely to establish the special theory of relativity actually confirm the mutual consistency of the Maxwell-Lorentz electromagnetic theory and the special relativity theory, but throw no light on the validity of the two theories taken jointly. It is further shown that a modification of the (...) rules of correspondence between the mathematical structure of the theories and immediate experience would bring the theories into agreement with an alternative relativity theory based on the Galilean instead of the Lorentz transformation. An experiment is suggested by which the need for such modification can be tested. A proof is then given that the rules of correspondence between the concepts of the special relativity theory (and therefore of current electromagnetic theory) and experience are not self-consistent, so that some modification of current ideas is essential. It is suggested that a generalisation of Maxwell's theory, in terms of Faraday's "ray vibrations" instead of Lorentz's static ether, might provide a satisfactory basis for a relativistic electromagnetic theory. (shrink)