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Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems represent one of the foremost achievements in mathematical logic's proud history. AskPhilosopher's very own panelist Peter Smith obviously is greatly intrigued by these theorems. Suppose out of jealously -- though I doubt he would succumb to such a vice! -- he decided to build a time machine. Imagine, moreover, that he went to a time before Gödel had proven the theorems and gave the great logician, say, the idea of Gödel numbering, the key to proving the incompleteness theorems. My question thus is as follows: Who would deserve credit for proving the incompleteness theorems? Gödel seems to have gotten the idea from Peter; Peter seems to have gotten the idea from Gödel. Is it possible that neither would deserve credit?

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