[FOM] Hilbert and Beer Bottles

William Tait williamtait at mac.com
Thu Aug 16 11:57:25 EDT 2007

On Aug 16, 2007, at 9:24 AM, John Baldwin wrote.

> Does anyone have exact (preferably on-line) reference for the
> Hilbert quote on interpreting points as beer bottles.
> I apologize as I think this on fom before but google search (or me)
> is not up to finding a better location that somewhere in Reid's  
> biography.

There is no reference in Reid's biography. She merely
  states (p. 57) that H, in a train station in Berlin remarked that  
"One must be able to say at all times---instead of points, straight  
lines, and planes---tables chairs, and beer mugs."  [John, they  
probably didn't have much to do with beer bottles in those days.] The  
occasion was returning home to Körnigsberg from attending a lecture  
in Halle by Hans Wiener on the foundations and structure of geometry.

Bill Tait

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