[FOM] re: philosophical literature on intuitionism

Robert Tragesser rtragesser at mac.com
Tue Oct 14 13:40:29 EDT 2008

re: T.Forster's query about "philosophical literature on  
intuitionism". I kept in mind Forster's "I'm curious to know what the  
people who dreamt this stuff up actually
thought they were doing."

[1] Mark van Atten's extraordinarily lucid, brief (95pp) ON BROUWER  
in Wadsworth Philosophers Series [Thomson:Wadsworth; 2004) is the  
best and most accurate "first introduction" noteworthy for its  
Chapter 4, "Brouwer's Proof of the Bar Theorem", giving an account of  
Brouwer's "proof" and a good discussion of its philosophical interest.

[2] W.P. van Stigt's BROUWER'S INTUITIONISM (North-Holland 1990) is a  
rather lush account of Brouwer's philosophical ideas with instructive  
appendices (best read with van Atten's little book and a reading of  
Dirk van Dalen's two volume MYSTIC, GEOMETER, AND INTUITIONIST:THE  
LIFE OF L.E.J.BROUWER (Oxford 1999 for Vol.1) under your belt.

[3] For source materials well introduced, Paolo Mancosu's FROM  
BROUWER TO HILBERT (Oxford 1998), especially the parts on Brouwer &  

	Dummett's book simplifies Brouwer's "philosophy" virtually beyond  
recognition or, rather, interest IF what is uppermost is the desire  
(which Forster expressed) to satisfy curiosity about "what the people  
who dreamt this stuff up actually
thought they were doing".

Robert Tragesser

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