FOM: Cinq lettres

Charles Parsons parsons2 at
Sat Dec 6 12:22:04 EST 1997

>Some (not all, of course) ideas in the
>ongoing discussion reflect, perhaps, some
>stable tendencies in approach to
>mathematical objects of high level of
>"Cinq lettres sur la theorie des ensembles",
>an exchange between Baire, Borel, Lebesgue, and Hadamard,
>outline some of them -- from the point of view of interested
>analists rather than logicians. For instance
>their discussion of differences between
>"d\'efini" and "decrit" or "choisir" and "nommer"
>has got a curious reflection in recent posting
>on whether CH is "vague", "indefinite",
>"meaningless", or perhaps just a "gut feeling".
>Bull. soc. math. Fr. 1905, 33, 261 - 273
>(Reproduced in some monographs by Borel
>or Lebesgue. I do not know whether an
>English translation exists.)
>Vladimir Kanovei

I believe there's a translation of these letters in an appendix to Gregory
Moore's book _Zermelo's Axiom of Choice_ (Springer, c. 1982).

Charles Parsons

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