This is the sentence:

The meaning of the world is the separation of wish and fact. Wish is a force as applied to thinking beings, to realize something. A fulfilled wish is a union of wish and fact. The meaning of the whole world is the separation and the union of fact and wish.

Kurt Gödel

So I want to know what is the meaning of the bold part. I think my problem is with the usage of the "as" in this context. My take of it: wish is a force that thinking beings use that to realize something. Is that right?

  • Do you know if Gödel wrote this in English, or did he write in German and then this is a translation?
    – James K
    Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Gödel is using the metaphor of an "applied force", (A force that is applied to one object by or from another object)

The idea of "as applied" is "as made apparent by its effects". In his metaphor we recognise the "wish force" by its effects on thinking beings to change their plans and (try to) do something.

In a non-metaphorical sense we could talk about

The force on the beam as applied by a weight attached through strings.

  • Thank you very much for your clear explanation. I don't know if Gödel did write this in English or not. The only source I could find is a another book that in that too it was being quoted. one last thing, Can you explain the "as" part in cases like "as applied" and other cases you mentioned? What is the meaning and role of it? Commented Apr 19, 2020 at 22:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .