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Matheology § 178
Posted:
Dec 12, 2012 5:24 AM


Matheology § 178
The whole history of the Mathematische Annalen conflict was quietly incorporated into the oral tradition of European mathematics. Little is known of the aftermath; the Göttinger had won the battle, and they may have been tempted to pick a bone or two with some of the minor actors. [?] For Brouwer the matter had, in my opinion, far more serious consequences. His mental state could, under severe stress, easily come dangerously close to instability. Hilbert's attack, the lack of support from old friends, the (real or imagined) shame of his dismissal, the cynical ignoring of his undeniable efforts for the Annalen; each and all of these factors drove Brouwer to a selfchosen isolation. [?] After the Annalen affair, little zest for the propagation of intuitionism was left in Brouwer; he continued to work in the field, but on a very limited scale with only a couple of followers. Actually, his whole mathematical activity became rather marginal for a prolonged period. During the thirties Brouwer hardly published at all (only two small papers on topology); he undertook all kinds of projects that had nothing to do with mathematics or its foundations. [Dirk van Dalen: The Mathematical Intelligencer 12,4 (1990) 1731]
Regards, WM



