Gnomes in the Fog: The Reception of Brouwer's Intuitionism in the 1920s (Science Networks. Historical Studies, 28)

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9783764365363: Gnomes in the Fog: The Reception of Brouwer's Intuitionism in the 1920s (Science Networks. Historical Studies, 28)

The significance of foundational debate in mathematics that took place in the 1920s seems to have been recognized only in circles of mathematicians and philosophers. A period in the history of mathematics when mathematics and philosophy, usually so far away from each other, seemed to meet. The foundational debate is presented with all its brilliant contributions and its shortcomings, its new ideas and its misunderstandings.

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"L.E.J. Brouwer is best known to many mathematicians for his seminal contributions to topology. He is also the founder of mathematical intuitionism, and a key player in the debate on foundations of mathematics that raged for a brief decade in the 1920s, and then subsided. Gnomes in the Fog tells the story of that important and influential episode in the history of mathematics, in fascinating and delicious detail.... [A]nyone with an interest in mathematics and its history and philosophy, should enjoy this book. Mathematicians (especially logicians) may find some surprises in the first chapter, on Brouwer's predecessors; philosophers and science study scholars should especially appreciate the final chapter on the cultural context of the debate.... One of the many treasures to be discovered in reading this book is the rich collection of original quotes in the many languages in which the debate took place, along with the author's translations."

―MAA Online

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