FOM: Wittegenstein and Brouwer (fwd)

Charles Parsons parsons2 at
Fri Feb 6 13:34:07 EST 1998

>There is, as far as I can tell, no English translation of the talk that
>Brouwer gave (Mathematik, Wissenschaft und Sprache, in collected works
>pp417-28). I think it is very important, if not for Brouwer scholarhisp,
>but for Wittgenstein scholars. Anyone interested?

A translation has just appeared in Paolo Mancosu (ed.), _From Brouwer to
Hilbert_ (OUP, 1998). There is a slightly expanded Dutch version of the
paper, "Willen, weten, spreken," Euclides 9 (1933), 177-193. A translation
of this appears as an appendix to van Stigt, _Brouwer's Intuitionism_
(North-Holland, 1990).

>ps I'm pretty certain Go/"del was also supposed to have been at this
>lecture of Brouwer's (Wang mentions it, I think)

Wang quotes a draft letter to Menger in which he says he saw Wittgenstein
only once in his life, he thought at a lecture of Brouwer (_Reflections on
Kurt Goedel_, p. 49). Can we be sure it's this lecture and not the second
one Brouwer gave in Vienna, "Die Struktur des Kontinuums"? I don't know
whether Wittgenstein attended that one.

Charles Parsons

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