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Topic: Matheology § 178
Replies: 3   Last Post: Dec 13, 2012 3:30 PM

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Posts: 18,076
Registered: 1/29/05
Matheology § 178
Posted: Dec 12, 2012 5:24 AM
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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
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 self-chosen
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
[Dirk van Dalen: The Mathematical Intelligencer 12,4 (1990) 17-31]

Regards, WM

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