FOM: F.O.M./PureMath/GII

Lou van den Dries vddries at
Wed Dec 31 14:13:16 EST 1997

This is just to respond to a few things mentioned by Harvey in his
last message. First, English is not my native language, so perhaps
I could have said some things better. Harvey interpreted my statement
that certain instincts are "wide spread" and that I share them to mean
that I want to share my suspicion of these instincts. But that's
not what I meant. I mean that these instincts come naturally to many
of us, including me. (But I have come to be suspicious of them anyway.)
 (I suppose "wide spread" is not correct English, sorry. It's a literal
translation of the Dutch "wijdverspreid".)

I am familiar with Kline's book, and value parts of it. But while it's
a good source of information on the 19th century it really only covers
ther 20th century till about 1910, except for the very last chapter,
which I find the weakest of all. (But perhaps this is just an example
of "familiarity breeds contempt".) Anyway, it's a pretty routine
account, with the usual inordinater attention to marginal matters
like paradoxes, and indeed some statements that I strongly disagree
with, like the one Harvey mentions. I have to go now.

I"ll try to give some thought to the matters raised by Harvey.

-Lou van den Dries-

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